Chennai, Dec 4: September 27 2014 is a date that J Jayalalithaa will never forget. It re-wrote her political career as she was convicted by a Special Court in Bangalore and sentenced to four years imprisonment.
This meant that she would not be able to contest an election for ten years and also had to give up her post of Chief Minister immediately. Many had awaited with bated breath for the verdict and her followers in their wildest of dreams would not have expected the judgment to go against her.
What happened inside the court hall that day was not short of drama. Many of her opponents who witnessed the proceedings inside the court say that at some level they felt a tad bit sympathetic towards her as she stared on when her sentence was being read out.
Oneindia presents the exact proceedings within the court narrated by an eye- witness who has followed this case every single day since it began in Bangalore.
Stand only for the judge:
The proceedings were to commence at 11 AM. Just a while before the proceedings the court officer was seen instructing all the AIDMK supporters cum lawyers to remain seated. They were told that inside the court the judge is above all and at no cost should any of them stand up when Jayalalithaa enters into the court hall. All of you shall stand up only when the judge enters into the court they were told.
However the AIDMK men had a better way to outsmart the instructions given by the court officer. They decided not to sit down. They continued to stand until she entered into the court.
Confident at 11:
When Jayalalithaa entered the court sharp at 11 AM, she was her usual confident self. There was an air of confidence around her and there were no signs of nervousness. At some level she felt that she will be acquitted.
Her lawyers had obviously told her that all along. She greeted her lawyers and even the co-accused barring Sudhakaran before she sat down.
Everything changed suddenly:
However the confidence was short lived. The judge wanted to waste no time in reading out the judgment in full. He came to the point immediately and read out the operative portion of the verdict.
The judge said by around 11.10 AM that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that offences of corruption had been committed by Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natrajan, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran.
Jayalalithaa looked shocked. All the beaming confidence 10 minutes before the pronouncement of the verdict had vanished. She just continued to stare blankly. After a while she just continued to stare at Sasikala Natrajan and did not utter a word. The bubble had burst and the reality was writ large on her face.
What have you done Kumar?
After the conviction was awarded she was told by the court to come back at 1 PM for the sentencing. The court was adjourned until one. Most of her lawyers were too scared to even be around her. However after she went outside the court hall she was speaking with her senior advocate B Kumar. She was seething with anger and asked him, "Enna Kumar yenna pannitre."
When she came back at 1 PM, the court asked her why she should not be given a harsh sentence. She gave a lot of explanations about the time that had gone by and also spoke about the various welfare schemes that she had implemented.
She also told the court that the state's administration is very important. However the court was not impressed and in fact the judge felt that she was not being remorseful and continued to defend herself despite the conviction.
Her advocates too were no less docile in their arguments. They basically put forth the same defense that she did. However the judge was in no mood to listen and told them to come back at 4 PM when the sentence would be read out.
A tear drop:
At 4 PM sharp the sentence was read out. All the accused persons stood up as the judge began reading out the sentence. Before any of them had realized what had hit them, the judge said that she shall be sentenced to 4 years and will have to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
Jayalalithaa stood there stumped and the expression of was of disbelief. She sought the permission of the court to sit down and said that she was feeling giddy. Sasikala Natrajan immediately went up to her and held her and even consoled her.
After this they were taken outside the court as the judge prepared the warrants. She did not speak to any of her lawyers and remained quiet. She refused to speak to anyone. She went up to her van, but the police objected to it.
However later after the warrants were ready, her lawyers sought permission for her to be seated in her van. Later she was escorted by the police to the Parapana Agrahara jail where she was lodged.