A special court in Bangalore, Saturday, deferred its verdict in the 18-year-old Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa till 3 pm.
According to sources, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister told the court that the case was politically motivated, and intended to harass her.
Trial court judge John Michael D’Cunha, who had directed all the accused to be present in his court on the judgement day, deferred the pronouncement of verdict.
The verdict is being delivered by the special trial court in the central jail at Parapanna Agrahara in the city’s southern suburb. City police turned Parapanna Agrahara into a fortress and imposed ban order 1 km around the central jail as part of unprecedented security measures.
Meanwhile, security forces lathicharged Jayalalithaa’s supporters holding protests outside Parappana Agrahara prison complex.
In Chennai, the DMK camp, which vigorously pursued the case and had led political campaigns based on it, is anxiously awaiting the verdict as the outcome will have tremendous significance for the state’s political scenario. The party cadres have started celebrating prematurely outside DMK president M Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence in Chennai.
According to legal experts, if there is a conviction order, then Jayalalithaa will be disqualified as a legislative member and would lose her chief ministership.
Amid tight security, Jayalalithaa arrived in Bangalore this morning after flying in by a special aircraft at the HAL Airport along with the other accused – her close aide Sasikala Natarajan and Ilavarasi, the latter’s relative, and headed towards the court by road.
Sasikala’s nephew and Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son Sudhakaran, is the fourth accused in the case in which the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has been charged with accumulating Rs 66.65 crore wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income from 1991-96 in her first term in office.
Police are also closely checking vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration at the check post at Attibeli on the border. AIDMK supporters had gathered at the border but were stopped by police, who have been deployed in strength.
Several Tamil Nadu Ministers are already in Bangalore.
Platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police, the city Armed Reserve and the Rapid Action Force are stationed near the court, besides hundreds of police personnel, including those in plain clothes, police said.
Prohibitory orders have been clamped in and around the Parappana Agrahara prison complex.
The Rs 66.65 crore assets case, that could have far reaching implications for her government, dates back to Jayalalithaa`s first term as the Chief Minister, from 1991 to 1996. It was filed before a special court in Chennai in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu’s Department of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC).