Prospects of release from prison have brightened for VK Sasikala, the close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, with the remission of fine amounts of Rs10 crore and Rs10,000 imposed on her by the trial court in the disproportionate assets case. The fine amount was jointly paid by her relatives, her lawyer Raja Senthoor Pandian said on Wednesday, adding he expected her to be released by January 27 next year, if not earlier.
Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said Sasikala’s release would not impact the ruling AIADMK. Her party membership has not been renewed ever since Palaniswami and former CM O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against Sasikala, joined hands and chose to keep her and her family members away from the affairs of the party.
About Sasikala’s release soon and its impact on AIADMK, Palaniswami told journalists in Coimbatore, “As far as we are concerned, there will be no change.”
In February 2017, Sasikala, her sister-in-law Illavarasi and estranged nephew VN Sudhakaran had been jailed at the Parappana Agrahara Prison in Bengaluru after the Supreme Court upheld their conviction in the case in which Jayalalithaa was the prime accused. Since Jayalalithaa had died, the SC took the position the charges against her would abate. The accused were sentenced to undergo 4-year imprisonment.
Pandian said the fine was remitted at a city civil court and the prison authorities were informed. The money was jointly paid by her relatives including brother-in-law Palanivel, his wife, Illavarasi’s son Vivek Jayaraman and wife of Sasikala’s nephew Venkatesh, according to the lawyer.
Pandian said he has also moved an application for remission of her prison term and if it is accepted, Sasikala could walk free before January 27. The penalty imposed on the other 2 convicts for like sum is yet to be paid.