How Will Amma Wear 12000 Sarees In Jail?

It is shameful the way AIADMK party workers are going about disrupting normal life of the people in Tamil Nadu. Granted that Amma has been convicted, jailed, lost her Assembly seat and consequently her position as Chief Minister, but all this is due to a decision by a court of law. By resorting to anarchy, is the party trying to say that Amma is above the law of the land?

I am sure the same thing is going to happen if any sitting Chief Minister or even a popular leader is so convicted and arrested (though it did not happen when Laloo Yadav was similarly arrested in the fodder scam, it could have been because at that time his popularity was at its lowest ebb). But Amma won a good victory in 2011 and has since then tried to use the discomfiture of the DMK, whose leading lights are embroiled in innumerable corruption cases, to further strengthen her position.

The reason why the party workers are protesting is that they, and the party, feel that it was the DMK which pursued the case against Jayalalitha with a near religious zeal which they consider as political vendetta. As far as I understand, a vendetta, by its very definition, cannot be carried out in a court of law where proof of wrongdoing is required. A judge is not going to be swayed by verbal sparring alone. If the honourable judge John Michael Cunha, of the Special court in Bangalore, found her guilty in the disproportionate assets case, he must have been convinced of her guilt from the evidence on record. It also means that he was not convinced with Jayalalitha’s defense. If the judge has convicted her and sent her to jail, his verdict has to be respected. There are higher courts where it can be challenged. But it cannot be forced to be annulled by resorting to strong arm tactics. The kind of arson and forced closure of markets and offices being indulged in is not going to help Amma’s cause.

It is also regrettable that the DMK and its chief, Karunanidhi, are being targeted by the incited mobs. The issue was originally raised by Subramaniam Swamy, who is now in the BJP. The DMK then pursued the case when it came to power in Tamil Nadu. That was a logical step – both as an elected government in ensuring that those who had perhaps looted the state are punished and also as a political party to cause discomfort to a rival. But however much the DMK wanted to malign Amma, it could not have convinced the judge in convicting her if proof did not exist of Jayalalitha’s wrongdoings. Amma dug her own grave when she amassed acres of land, numerous fixed deposits and stuffed her wardrobe with more than a thousand dozen sarees. Though they must have been all benami, the needle of suspicion must be pointing at her and her cronies like Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Illaravasi, co-accused with her in the case, who have also been sentenced to equal terms in jail. Jayalalitha has also been fined for Rs 100 crores.

There are many options open before her. To start with, she will apply for bail in the High Court on October 7 after the courts reopen. On the political side, she has already appointed her trusted aide O Panneerselvam as the Chief Minister. She will also file an appeal against this order in the High Court and if no relief is granted, then in the Supreme Court. But the fact of the matter is that as of now, she has been disqualified from contesting an election or even voting in any election for the next ten years. It is a mighty tumble for someone who has aroused fierce loyalty in her state. Sunil Garodia in —The Indian Republic

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