news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | September 26, 2014 | 7.25 pm IST

The public eye is on Saturday’s Bangalore Special court verdict in the Rs. 66 crore disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

But she is no stranger to controversy, or to be more relevant in this case, trials or convictions. Most of the cases she has been involved in have dragged on for many years, and she has been convicted and even imprisoned in some of them.

Here’s a look at some of the cases from the past 

Pleasant Stay Hotel case

In February 2000, Jayalalithaa was sentenced to one year’s rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs. 1000 on charges of criminal conspiracy (IPC) and criminal misconduct by a public servant (PCA).

In the Pleasant Stay hotel case Jayalalithaa was accused of providing illegal exemptions in the form of allowing construction of additional five floors to a hotel in 1994 while serving as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996. However, in 2001, the Madras High Court acquitted her of all charges in the hotel case.

Read- Three cases that prosecution relied on and Jayalalithaa's defense in DA case

In 2000, when the judgement in the case came out in the lower court, AIADMK workers went on a rampage in many districts. Three young girl students of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who were on a study tour were burnt to death in Dharmapuri in February 2000.

It was a scene not many in Tamil Nadu would forget – videos of a bus burnt in Dharmapuri flashed on television screens as men went on a rampage on the day of Jayalalithaa’s conviction resulting in the death of three college girls in the bus. This violent incident and trial thereafter resulted in the conviction and death sentence of three men. (who the AIADMK has always maintained were not party functionaries)

TANSI case

Another case in which she was convicted was the famous TANSI case in which two companies (Jaya Publications and Sasi Enterprises), she ran with Sasikala was accused of buying properties belonging to the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation (TANSI).

Subramanian Swamy was one of the petitioners who approached court alleging that the property was undervalued and sold to the firms, causing a loss of over 3.5 crores to the state government.

On 9 October, 2000, a judge convicted Jayalalithaa and others in both the cases.

In the Jaya Publications case, Jayalalithaa was sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and in the Sasi Enterprise case she was given a two year rigorous imprisonment. However, as the terms were concurrent, her sentence was suspended. 

Within two months, in December 2001, however, Jayalalithaa was acquitted in the TANSI case along with her acquittal in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case.

It was not all miss-and-go for the TN CM all the way though. There were a few cases where she did have to spend time in prison too.

Imprisonment

It was quite obviously a DMK regime when Jayalalithaa was first sent to prison. The multi-crore Color TV scam case was the one in which AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa was convicted and sentenced for allegedly receiving kickbags of Rs 8.53 crores in a 1995 deal for purchase of 45,300 color tv sets for village community centres across the state.

Arrested from her Poes garden residence on December 7, 1996 she spent her next 27 days in prison until January 3, 1997 as remand prisoner No. 2529 at the Madras Central Jail. She was then released on bail. In between the prison term, she was also remanded for the ‘Wealth Tax’ case against her.

It was during this prison term that Jayalalithaa’s properties were raided, her sarees, footwear and jewels seized.

She was acquitted in the case by Special Judge V Radhakrishnan on May 30, 2000. Later, despite an appeal by the DMK-led state government, even the Madras High Court in 2009 upheld the lower court order providing the acquittal.

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