Bengaluru, May 10: These are unnerving movements of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The Karnataka High Court will pronounce its verdict in the disproportionate assets case tomorrow and as prayers are being conducted in Tamil Nadu by her supporters, in Karnataka security is at an unprecedented high.
Prohibitory orders have been enforced around the High Court, security in the border has been stepped up in a bid to prevent any un-toward incident.
The Karnataka police have issued a strong warning that there shall be no protests in and around the High Court and action would be initiated in case anyone tries to disrupt law and order.
Verdict at 11 AM:
All eyes would be on Justice C R Kumaraswamy who will be delivering the verdict on the appeal filed by J Jayalalithaa and others challenging their conviction in the disproportionate assets case.
A special sitting of the High Court single judge had to be convened to deliver this verdict as the court is on vacation. Justice Kumaraswamy who has been hearing the appeal for the past three months will deliver the verdict by 11 AM tomorrow before a packed court hall.
Whichever way the verdict goes, this is not the last court of appeal. Whether the conviction is upheld or not, the final legal battle would be fought in the Supreme Court.
If the verdict goes against Jayalalithaa, then she would prefer an appeal before the Supreme Court. In case she gets a favourable verdict then it would be the state of Karnataka which will prefer an appeal before the Supreme Court of India. Clearly this is not the final legal battle.
A lot riding politically:
This verdict is extremely crucial for the political prospects of Jayalalithaa. Following the verdict of the trial court, she was barred from contesting the elections for ten years. The trial court had sentenced her to four years imprisonment.
As per the rule, a person cannot contest the elections for six years plus the number of years he or she has been convicted for.
In the Jayalalithaa case it was ten years taking into account the number of years she was convicted and also the law of six years.
If Jayalalithaa is acquitted tomorrow by the High Court, then she will immediately take over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
She would however have to contest an by-election which would really not be of much concern for her as she is expected to win it hands down.
However, if the verdict is not favourable then she will have to file an appeal before the Supreme Court and await her fate.
Supreme Court watching Jaya’s supporters:
When Jayalalithaa was granted bail by the Supreme Court it had told her that she should tell her supporters to maintain peace and calm.
Going by this directive many would expect that the supporters would remain calm on Jaya’s instruction irrespective of the verdict.
Bengaluru Commissioner of Police, M N Reddi has ordered prohibitory orders around the High Court for tomorrow when the verdict is delivered. The order will be in effect between 6 AM and 9 PM.
The police commissioner says that security is in place and they are expected a large number of her supporters to come to the city tomorrow.
Traffic could be affected and the police have deployed additional teams to ensure that there is no disruption.