On September 27, 2014, a special court in Bangalore had convicted Jayalalithaa in a case worth Rs 58 crores, sentencing her to four years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 100 crore. Her three associates — Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Illavarasi — were also convicted. After meandering for 18 years, the case had reached the climax with the conviction in September last year that brought her down from the pedestal of Chief Ministership and unseated her from the Assembly.
A single judge of the high court Justice C R Kumaraswamy on Monday allowed appeals filed by Jaya and others and set aside the conviction ordered by the trial court.
The news of Jaya’s acquittal was greeted by cheers from AIADMK lawyers who had thronged the court. They shouted long live Jaya as they left the court.
The trial court had found Jayalalithaa guilty of accumulating Rs 53 crore of illegal assets. The trial of the case pertaining to the 1991-96 tenure of Jayalalithaa was transferred to Karnataka in 2003 by a Supreme Court order.
Hailing the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting her in the disproportionate assets case, AIADMK chief Jayalalaithaa on Monday said it has proved that she did no wrong and vowed to continue to work for the welfare of people of Tamil Nadu.
“Today’s verdict gives me immense satisfaction, this has removed the slander imposed on me, this has erased the blame put on me by political enemies,” she said in her first reaction hours after her acquittal.