Following her acquittal in a disproportionate assets case, AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa is looking at her return as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
As per reports, the AIADMK chief could take the oath of chief minister within a week.
As per AIADMK sources, Jayalalithaa could be sworn in before May 20. However, there was no confirmation of the date with several dates floating around.
By law, Jayalalithaa will have to get elected to the Assembly within six months after becoming the chief minister.
“Justice has won,” the former Tamil Nadu chief minister said on Monday hours after a special bench of the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru acquitted her in the Rs 66 crore case in which she was sentenced to four years in jail by a lower court.
The acquittal triggered wild celebrations by her supporters all across Tamil Nadu.
The charges were not “sustainable”, Justice CR Kumaraswamy said in the much-awaited verdict in the case in which Jayalalithaa, 67, was also fined a whopping Rs 100 crore.
The judge also acquitted Jayalalithaa’s three co-convicts who too were sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs 10 crore each. They included close aide Sasikala Natarajan.
The lower court was told to also release Jayalalithaa’s confiscated assets.
“It is not a victory for me but a victory for justice,” said Jayalalithaa, who had stepped down as chief minister after her earlier conviction.
Within minutes of the judgement, AIADMK leaders, including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, rushed to Jayalalithaa’s residence. Outside and all over Chennai and Tamil Nadu, boisterous celebrations erupted.
Political experts said the AIADMK may even go for a snap election in the wake of the court ruling.
DMK leader and former chief minister M Karunanidhi, however, questioned the judgement.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy even threatened to appeal against the verdict.
This was not the first time Jayalalithaa has been convicted and later acquitted.
In 2000, a trial court had sentenced her to jail terms of three years and two years in two cases.
In 2001, she stepped down as chief minister following a Supreme Court verdict which held that she cannot hold the office after being convicted for criminal offences.
However, in 2002, Jayalalithaa again became the chief minister after being acquitted by the Madras High Court. She was later elected from Andipatti constituency.