Imprisoned Indian politician denied bail

Karanataka court refuses to suspend four-year sentence of Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

    Imprisoned Indian politician denied bail
    Jayalalithaa, who enjoys a cult following in Tamil Nadu, was found guilty of amassing illegal wealth [Reuters]

    A top court in India has denied bail to Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the former chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, who was imprisoned last week over a corruption case, national media has said.

    Indian politicians convicted and facing corruption charges

    Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Minister of Railways 
    Convicted in 2013 for embezzling $410m (Out on bail)

    Om Prakash Chautala, former Chief Minister of Haryana 
    Charged and convicted in 2013 over teacher recruitment scandal (Out on bail)

    YS Jaganmohan Reddy, Member of Legislative Assembly
    Charged with corruption amounting to $489m in 2012 (Out on bail)

    BS Yeddyurappa, former Chief Minister of Karanataka
    Arrested in 2011 for $3.6bn illegal mining scandal (Out on bail)

    A Raja, former Communications and Information Technology minister
    Charged and arrested in 2012 for 2G spectrum scandal amounting to $29bn (Out on bail)

    According to channel NDTV, a Karanataka High Court judge on Tuesday refused to suspend the politician's four-year jail sentence, adding that India's Supreme Court had sent out a clear message to fast-track corruption cases.

    Conflicting reports initially emerged that the politician had been granted bail, with several agencies issuing corrections to announcements that the prosecution had in fact said it had no objection to granting conditional bail.

    The court had begun to hear arguments for bail earlier in the day from the defence team of Jayalalithaa, 66, who sought the bail for medical reasons.

    The Times of India reported that Jayalalithaa's lawyers told the court that as the leader of the AIADMK party she was a law-abiding citizen and would not abscond from the country.

    The newspaper reported early celebrations followed by protests by AIADMK supporters in Bangalore, where the hearing was taking place, and in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.

    Both cities were under tight security while the court was in session.

    Appeal

    Last week, a party representative said that Jayalalithaa, who is also a former actress, would be filing an appeal against her sentence.

    A controversial politician who enjoys a cult following in Tamil Nadu where she has long governed, Jayalalithaa was jailed for four years on September 27 over a case that has lasted nearly two decades.

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

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

    The politician was promptly replaced as head of state by O Panneerselvam, her finance minister, following a party meeting.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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