Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, her close friend VK Sasikala and her relatives - Ilavarasi and Sudhagaran had been convicted in the case that alleged that the former Chief Minister owned assets far exceeding her known sources of income. In 2015, they were acquitted but an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court, the verdict was delivered today.
As Jayalalithaa died in December last year, the court did not pass orders against her and now the verdict involved Sasikala and her relatives.
1. The late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had been accused of amassing wealth to the tune of Rs. 66 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income during the period between 1991 and 1996, when she held the post of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time.
2. Jayalalithaa's close aide VK Sasikala was accused of abetment and criminal conspiracy in the issue with her relatives were Ilavarasi and VN Sudhagaran.
3. Since Jayalalithaa was still the CM, the trial had been shifted from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka following concerns about undue influence. In September 2014, all four were sentenced to a 4-year-jail term and a fine of Rs. 100 crore by a special court in Bengaluru.
4. In May 2015, the Karnataka High reversed the verdict and acquitted them all. The court had held that the charges against them was not sustainable. After the special court verdict, Ms Jayalalithaa had stepped down as Chief Minister. The High Court's verdict cleared the decks for her return as the Chief Minister.
5. DMK leader K Anbazhagan and BJP's Subramanian Swamy had challenged their acquittal in the Supreme Court.
6. The government of Karnataka had argued that if the judgment of the high court was not set aside, the Prevention of Corruption Act will fail to stop corruption among politicians and public servants and that will send a wrong signal.
7. The state had also said that there were mathematical errors in calculating the assets by the High Court, which acquitted Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Sasikala.
8. Jayalalithaa had claimed that there was no "mathematical error". She said all her income between 1991 and 1996 were through lawful sources.
9. The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict, after hearing the arguments till June.
10. Sasikala and her relatives were convicted in the case.