Chennai, Feb 13: It is clear now that Sasikala Natarajan's fate would be decided by the Supreme Court and not the governor. While there is no clear indication as yet, sources say that the verdict in the disproportionate assets case is likely to be delivered by the SC on Tuesday.
On Sunday rumours were rife that Karnataka may seek to delete Jayalalithaa's name from the case. This was, however, denied by Karnataka's legal team which says that since she is no more, the case against her stands abated under Section 394 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
However, for Sasikala her fate hangs on this verdict. The case against her is very much alive and the SC will give its findings on the angle of criminal conspiracy involving Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran.
There will be two likely scenarios- one the SC upholds the order of acquittal passed by the Karnataka high court. The second one would be to uphold the verdict of the trial court which had sentenced Jayalalithaa, Sasikala to four years imprisonment and also ordered a fine of Rs 100 crore.
Although rare, there is also a possibility of the case being referred back to the Karnataka high court. This scenario could arise if the SC feels that the appeals need to be decided fresh on merits since the prime accused Jayalalithaa is no more.
Since Sasikala is not an elected representative, a conviction will not disqualify her. Instead she would be barred from contesting an election for six years from the date of release from prison. If the four-year sentence is upheld then she will not be allowed to contest an election for 10 years.