AIADMK members perform a puja at Murugan Temple 
in Madurai seeking justice for J Jayalalithaa.
AIADMK members perform a puja at Murugan Temple in Madurai seeking justice for J Jayalalithaa.

Lakhs of AIADMK supporters and workers pray for her release

Bangalore : All eyes would be on the Bangalore High Court as the crucial bail plea of former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, would come up for hearing today.

“Amma (Jaya) will emerge victorious after Dashera,” her supporters thronged outside the jail said in unison. A large contingent of AIADMK supporters has come to Bangalore in anticipation of seeing their Amma come out of jail.

“We have been orphaned for over a week. Justice will be delivered in Amma’s favour,” said Ramalingam, a lawyer from Tamil Nadu.

In Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts, tourists suffered without proper food and beverages, following a bandh observed in these districts. Since a one-day bandh was observed in Udhagamandalam, Coonoor, Gudalur and Kothagiri — the major tourist spots in Nilgiris district, tourists from different parts of the country, especially for the long Puja holidays were affected, as they were stranded without proper food with all the hotels, eateries and bakeries downing shutters, police said.

While there is positive but emotional anticipation in the air, the High Court will focus on Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which specifies that the appellate court has the power to suspend a sentence pronounced under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and release the appellant on bail.

Senior lawyers point out that if the appellant has been sentenced to imprisonment of five years or less, the appellate court in the normal course would pass an order suspending the sentence and release the appellant on bail; more so it the appellant was on bail during trial.

The High Court will go into the key precedents set by the Supreme Court which had ruled in a few cases that if it was not possible to dispose of the appeal shortly, the sentence awarded by the trial court should be suspended and the appellant released on bail in the normal course.

The argument is that if the appellant is found not guilty, the jail term that he or she had served cannot be undone or compensated. On the other hand, if the appellant is granted bail and later if a higher court validated the trial court’s verdict, the appellant can be put behind bars to serve the remaining period of the sentence.

A battery of senior lawyers headed by Ram Jethmalini would take up Jayalalithaa’s case even as the prosecution is preparing to argue that giving bail to the former CM would not serve the cause of justice as she can influence the case.

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