Jailed Indian politician to file appeal

Bail also sought for Jayalalithaa Jayaram, ex-chief minister of Tamil Nadu, who faces four years in jail for corruption.

    Jailed Indian politician to file appeal
    Jayalalithaa was found guilty of amassing illegal wealth of at least $10m, including gold and thousands of saris [AFP]

    Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the former chief minister of India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, who was jailed on Saturday over a corruption case, will be filing an appeal against her sentence, her representative has said.

    A Navaneethakrishnan, a politician from Jayaram's AIADMK party, told the Hindu local newspaper that her lawyers will also be seeking bail, with the publication reporting that the High Court will hear the appeal on Tuesday.

    Jayalalithaa, 66, a controversial politician who enjoys a cult following in Tamil Nadu where she has long governed, was jailed for four years on Saturday over the case that has lasted nearly two decades.

    A judge in the southern city of Bangalore found Jayalalithaa guilty of amassing illegal wealth of at least $10m - including gold, property, hundreds of shoes and thousands of saris - in the case that she has always dismissed as being politically motivated.

    Prosecutors said her assets, which reportedly included two 1,000-acre estates in in her home-state of Tamil Nadu, were vastly disproportionate to her earnings during her first term as chief minister between 1991 to 1996.

    On Sunday, the former actress was replaced as head of state by O Panneerselvam, her finance minister, following a party meeting, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

    Future of party

    The sentence is widely seen as an extraordinary transformation of fortunes for the woman known as "Amma" (Mother) to her fans, whose ministers have been known to prostrate themselves before her.

    Indian politician convicted after 18- year case

    Jayalalithaa, who was also fined one billion rupees ($16m), was automatically disqualified from holding office, although she is likely to still dominate from jail her AIADMK party, the third biggest force in the national parliament.

    She earlier held talks with top cadres from inside the Bangalore jail where she spent her second night on Sunday, to arrange the handover to Panneerselvam, a party official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

    "As our supremo, Jayalalithaa has advised cabinet colleagues and party leaders to convene a meeting of all lawmakers in Chennai later in the day and elect a leader to serve as our chief minister," he said.

    Police were on alert in Chennai following the protests on Sunday by supporters who reportedly torched vehicles, threw stones and burnt effigies of political rivals blamed for filing the case.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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