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No interim relief for Jayalalithaa, bail plea hearing adjourned to Oct 6

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Bangalore: Refusing to grant an interim relief to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, a bench of the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing on her bail petition till Monday (October 6).

Jayalalithaa, who was recently sentenced to four-year imprisonment by a special court on charges of corruption, had yesterday filed a criminal revision petition. “The criminal revision petition (CRP) was taken up by the vacation bench of Justice Rathnakala,” an AIADMK source said.

As per the AIADMK sources, noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani has been roped in to argue the case seeking suspension of the four-year jail sentence, bail for release of Jayalalithaa from jail, review of the hefty fine (Rs.100 crore) and stay on the conviction.

A special court had on Saturday convicted Jayalalithaa in the Rs 66-crore disproportionate assets’ case and sentenced her to four years simple imprisonment, with a fine of Rs.100 crore under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The revision plea includes two interim petitions, including one for staying the conviction and another against confiscating properties seized in 1997 from Jayalalithaa’s residence in central Chennai by the Enforcement Directorate and in judicial custody here.

The properties include about 800kg silver, 28kg gold ornaments, 750 pairs of shoes, 10,500 saris, 91 watches and other valuable items.

“As the sentence is for four years of simple imprisonment and not life term, the convict has a statutory right to appeal for the suspension of the sentence and seek bail through a CRP,” a senior government counsel told reporters on Monday.

After the CRP is admitted for hearing, the court will direct the special public prosecutor to file objections, if any, through notice.

Besides Jayalalithaa, her three close associates who were also convicted and jailed for four years in the criminal case, have filed separately criminal revision petitions through their counsels for suspension of the sentence and sought bail.

The three associates are Sasikala Natarajan, her nephew VN Sudhakaran and her sister in-law J Illavarasi. Sudhakaran is also the disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa.

As the high court is on a week-long Dasara holidays till October 5, the vacation bench judge is hearing the four revision petitions.

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