Hours after the Supreme Court rejected her request to grant her some time to surrender for the remainder of a four-year-jail term in a corruption case, AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala was sent to jail Wednesday after she showed up at a trial court in Bengaluru.
Accompanied by Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and her husband M Natarajan, Sasikala, along with Elavarasi, arrived at the special court from Chennai around 5.15 pm. After their advocate filed a surrender petition, judge Aswathanarayana asked for the presence of Sudhakaran,
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The advocates said that Sudhakaran had developed an illness on way to Bengaluru from Chennai and sought time until Thursday for him to surrender. The judge, however, did not accept the plea and directed that Sudhakaran should present himself in court at the earliest. The advocates sought an hour’s time, and Sudhakaran reached soon thereafter and surrendered.
Sasikala’s pleas for two weeks more to surrender and for home food were also turned down.
Sasikala’s relatives V N Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi, whose conviction by the trial court in Bengaluru had been upheld by the Supreme Court, also surrendered. Four cars in their cavalcade were damaged in stone-pelting by some locals soon after they arrived near the court premises, police said.
Authorities at the Central Jail near Bengaluru said Sasikala and Elavarasi were lodged in a cell in the women’s block and given Convicted Prisoner Numbers (CPN) 9234 and 9235 respectively. Sudhakaran was given CPN 9236. Jail officials said Sasikala won’t be given any special treatment in prison.
In Chennai earlier, Sasikala left Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence just before noon and headed to Bengaluru after visiting Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Marina Beach. She went around the memorial, muttered something and tapped on the tomb thrice as if taking a pledge, prayed and prostrated.
She also visited the Ramapuram residence of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran where she briefly meditated before leaving for Bengaluru.
She was left with no choice except surrender after the Supreme Court bench led by Justice P C Ghose asserted that both judges on the bench that restored the Bengaluru trial court’s conviction and sentencing order were unanimous that they would not change even a word of their judgment.
“We intend to pass no further orders after directing her to surrender immediately. We don’t intend to change even a word of that order… we hope you understand the meaning of the word immediately,” Justice Ghose told senior lawyer K T S Tulsi, who mentioned the matter on behalf of Sasikala.
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While Justice Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy passed the verdict in the case a day ago, the judges were sitting in two different benches on Wednesday. Tulsi brought the matter before Justice Ghose, the senior judge on the bench, saying Sasikala required some more time to surrender to enable her make certain “personal arrangements”.
“I have to manage some affairs. I am ready to face the sentence but need some time to sort out my affairs. I am merely seeking some more time to surrender and not granting it would cause irreparable loss to me,” Tulsi argued on behalf of Sasikala.
But Justice Ghose shot down the request. “We have already passed a fatty judgment and we are not going to change anything in that judgment now… it says forthwith. I am not going to change even a word now,” he said.
Tulsi insisted on a hearing and reminded Justice Ghose that the judge would be sitting with Justice Roy at 3 pm for a special bench matter.
Justice Ghose remained unmoved and said both the judges had spoken clearly a day ago when they asked Sasikala to surrender forthwith and directed the trial court to take actions to ensure she serves remainder of the jail term.