Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala on Wednesday paid Rs 10-crore fine in a disproportionate assets case, PTI reported. Sasikala’s lawyer N Raja Senthoor Pandian said that she was likely to be released soon.

“I expect her to be free soon, earlier than the scheduled release date of January 27, 2021,” he told the news agency.

The fine was deposited at a civil court in Bengaluru. The court will now inform prison authorities about the payment. Sasikala’s relatives paid the amount on her behalf, according to The Hindu. Her brother-in-law Palanivel paid Rs 3.25 crore, while his wife Vasantha Devi deposited Rs 3.75 crore. Sasikala’s nephew’s wife gave Rs 3 crore.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said that there will be no change in All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s stand towards Sasikala. He added that Sasikala and her family won’t be allowed to join the party or the state government, NDTV reported.

Sasikala has been in jail since 2017 after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case. Two of Sasikala’s relatives – VN Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi – were also arrested in the case.

Also read: The prospect of Sasikala’s early release from prison creates a flutter in Tamil Nadu politics

In 2017, Operation Clean Money was initiated as tax officials set out to find Sasikala’s “benami assets” at 37 locations in Puducherry, Coimbatore and Chennai. They uncovered “incriminating documents” from 150 other sites.

About 1,800 officials were working on the case and Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai was also searched. Sasikala was questioned in prison in December 2018.

Income Tax officials had said that at least 65 properties, located in and around Chennai, worth around Rs 300 crore, were bought through shell companies between 2003 and 2005. Many of them were purchased through a company called Sri Hari Chandana Estates Private Limited, owned by Sasikala’s relatives