[Sasikala with interim Chief Minister O Panneerelvam in a file photo.]
New Delhi/Chennai: In a major setback to VK Sasikala, close aide of late AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister Tamil Nadu J Jayalailthaa, the Supreme Court found her guilty in a corruption case and asked her to surrender immediately.
VK Sasikala, who became General Secretary of AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa, was aspiring to become Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. The Supreme Court verdict however puts an end to her bid.
The Supreme Court, which set aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting her in the 19-year-old disproportionate assets case that also involved late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, took minutes to pronounes its ruling.
The apex court restored in toto the judgement and the findings of the trial court in Bengaluru which had held guilty all the accused including Sasikala's two relatives, V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi.
The two-judge bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy directed Sasikala and the two relatives to surrender forthwith to the trial court in Bengaluru and serve the remaining part of four year jail term.
61-year-old Sasikala is stll at the five-star Golden Bay Resort resort in Mahabalipuram, 80 km from Chennai, where she spent last night along with about 120 legislators whom she had sequestered for almost a week to prevent them from being poached by the Panneerselvam camp.
Meanwhile, there are victory celebrations at the Chennai home of interim Chief Minister O Panneerelvam, who took charge of the state after J Jayalalithaa died in December, and had challenged Sasikala's claim to the chief minister's post.
AIADMK which had elected Sasikala last week as its leader in the assembly, will now have to elect a new leader. Chief Minister Panneerselvam had resigned last week to facilitate Sasikala's takeover.
A trial court in Bangalore had convicted Jayalalithaa and Sasikala and sentenced them each to four years in jail. Both spent a few months in jail before the Karnataka High Court overturned the trial court order and acquitted them. The Karnataka government had appealed against the acquittal and the top court had reserved verdict in June last year.