Bengaluru: Tamil Nadu has erupted in celebrations.Â The Karnataka High Court has acquitted former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case. The acquittal now enables a big political comeback for Jayalalithaa, who has waged many legal battles and seen several ups and downs in her political career.Â
Pronouncing the verdict in a jam-packed court, Justice C R Kumaraswamy also acquitted AIADMK’s chief close aide Sasikala Natarajan and her relatives J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran, disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa.Â
Welcoming the verdict, Jayalalithaa said, “It has confirmed that I have done no wrong. The case was foisted by political enemies.Â
Jaya’s lawyer B Kumar reacts after the verdict, calls it a “big relief”.
As the court proceedings got underway sharp at 11 AM, the judge straightway read out the operative part of the verdict on the appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others challenging their conviction by the trial court.Â
Victory celebrations broke out immediately outside her Poes Garden residence in Chennai where party workers celebrated with bursting of crackers and dancing while flashing victory sign.Â “Truth has triumphed,” Â her supporters said.
EC sources said Jayalalithaa will have to contest the election again to become a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.Â
The Karnataka High Court judgement came on an appeal against the judgement of the Special Court Judge John Michael D’Cunha who had on September 27 last year held the AIADMK supremo and three others guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term, due to which she attracted disqualification as an MLA.Â
The judge had also slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore each on three other convicts.Â
The lower court judgement automatically disqualified Jayalalithaa as an MLA and unseated her from the chief minister’s post. Now with the High Court’s clean chit, she is expected to assume reins of office in Fort St George.Â
The judgement comes as a major boost to Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK exactly one year ahead of Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.