The legal team of VK Sasikala, the jailed aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has begun the process to pay the fine amount that she owed the court in the disproportionate assets case that she was convicted in. Her counsel has submitted details regarding the Rs.10 crore that is to be paid as fine in an open court and are waiting for the official documents accepting the fine to reach their hands. This sets into motion the process for her release from jail.
Sasikala has been lodged in Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru since February 2017 and according to a Right to Information reply given by the central prison authority based on a query by a Bengaluru lawyer and activist, Narasimha Murthy, she is likely to be released from jail on January 27, 2021. In September, speaking with TNM, Sasikala’s lawyer Raja Senthura Pandian had said that her counsel was hoping for an early release by end of September or early October 2020 on account of her good behaviour. However, this did not materalise.
Sasikala meanwhile wrote to her counsel in October and asked that the fine be kept ready and expressed confidence regarding an early release. She further directed the advocate to discuss matters regarding her release with RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, who is now the general secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
With the fine amount in the process of getting paid, Sasikala's counsel hoped that the former General secretary of the AIADMK will be released early.
"As per the Karnataka jail manual her term will be reduced to 43 months from 48 if they apply good behaviour. We believe they will follow this and allow her to be released early," her advocate Raja Sentura Pandian had earlier told TNM.
Sasikala's release could create a churn in the political landscape of Tamil Nadu, with assembly elections set to be held in 2021.