Jayalalithaa's close associate N Sasikala, her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi, who are the other accused in the case were also given four-year prison term and slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore each.
Sasikala was first introduced to the then Rajya Sabha MP Jayalalithaa in 1982 by IAS officer V S Chandralekha. Now aged 57, Sasikalaa has spent the better part of her life in the company of Jayalalithaa.
Since then, Sasikalaa has parted ways from Jayalalithaa only on three occasions:
- When she was arrested in 1995-96 by the enforcement directorate in connection with the JJTV equipment imports case.
- When she was expelled by Jayalalithaa from her household ahead of assembly elections in May 1996.
- When she and her relatives were sent out of Jayalalithaa's house in Poes Garden in 2011.
"Jayalalithaa is a difficult friend. None but Sasikalaa has understood her," the lawyer, who has known her for many years, said.
During the three decades of their friendship, Sasikala and her family has reaped the benefits of Jayalalithaa's company.
The deposition of a prosecution witness in a special court in Chennai is revealing enough. Prosecution witness R Krishnamoorthy, a section officer in the information and tourist department, said in 2000 that Natarajan obtained a scooter advance apart from a housing loan of Rs 1.85 lakh, and obtained a car loan of Rs 80,000 in 1987.
"She has swapped her own personal life for reaching and retaining the current position of power," said the lawyer.
In today's date, Sasikala's family is estimated to have sizeable investments all over Tamil Nadu, besides outside the state and the country.