The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Karnataka High Court to expeditiously hear and decide within three months an appeal by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa against her conviction in a corruption case. The AIADMK chief was handed out a jail term for four years following her conviction in a case of amassing disproportionate assets.
The court also extended by another four months the bail granted to Jayalalithaa in October. The court will hear the matter next on April 2015.
Jayalalithaa was convicted by a special court in Karnataka for amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of her income. In the wake of her conviction, she was automatically disqualified as a MLA and also had to step down as the Chief Minister in the middle of her third term in the chair. She handpicked party loyalist O Panneerselvam to fill in for her as Chief Minister.
The case against her accuses Jayalalithaa of using her first term as chief Minister from 1991 to 1996 to accumulate vast wealth. Jayalalithaa however claimed she was a victim of political vendetta by rival party, the DMK, which pursued the case. Assembly elections are due in the state in 2016 and unless her conviction is stayed or set aside, Jayalalithaa will not be able to contest.
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