The Supreme Court's judgement abating the verdict against J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case has thrown up new confusions. Even as Karnataka government is contemplating seeking a clarification from the Supreme court on whether the Rs 100 crore can be recovered, it gives space for debate on whether Jayalalithaa's portraits should be removed from government buildings.
The verdict being abated effectively throws up questions on whether the former Chief Minister was convicted by the Supreme court or if the High Court's order of acquitting her stands valid. If the High Court's verdict to acquit her remains valid, her portraits can continue to adorn the walls of government buildings. It would also mean that no questions can be raised on a state-sponsored memorial for Jayalalithaa who died when she still held the office of Chief Minister. Post her death, the AIADMK had demanded that Jayalalithaa be conferred with a Bharat Ratna for her work in public life. The demand was shelved after the Supreme Court upheld trial court's verdict convicting all accused in the case. The lack of clarity now makes way for the revival of this demand.
If the Supreme Court's decision to keep verdict against Jayalalithaa in abeyance translates to her being convicted would the same apply to the Rs 100 crore fine imposed on her? However, irrespective of what the Supreme Court's stand pertaining to Jayalalithaa is, Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi will continue to serve jail term since the order clearly mentions that the verdict of the trial court with regard to accused number 2 to 4, is confirmed but in case of Jayalalithaa, it is abated since she is deceased.