Tuesday witnessed a high drama before the Karnataka high Court when the bail plea petition of former Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa came up for hearing that too taken by the country’s eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani and many news outlets said she was granted bail after prosecution lawyer did not oppose the petition.
But shocking all her supporters, the High Court bench rejected the bail request citing the Supreme Court order on corruption cases involving political leaders. It categorically said there is no reason to suspend Jayalalithaa’s conviction in a disproportionate assets case and Jethmalani’s argument over her ill-health was not heed by the court as a strong reason to release her from the jail.
Currently, Jayalalithaa is undergoing her jail term at Bangalore’s Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara amid tight security and her health is being checked constantly by the medical staff. However, Jethmalani argued for the bail saying her health inside the jail deteriorating.
The prosecution initially opposed the bail saying Jayalalithaa may abscond once she gets bail but it was brushed aside by her lawyer and the prosecution relented on its argument but the bench took serious note of the Supreme Court verdict earlier in similar case and denied the bail.
A tongue-in-cheek reaction came from the real petitioner Subramaniam Swamy, who said he was not surprised at the denial of the bail for Jayalalithaa. “I am not surprised, this is what I was expecting. This morning in a tweet I had said that my guess is that the bail will be rejected,” Swamy told ANI.
“The only surprise in this whole thing was the public prosecutor’s watering down his arguments. He should have pressed for continuation of her sentence but he agreed to conditional bail, I am a bit surprised at that. Since then the judges have taken a correct stand, the Karnataka High Court has done the right thing,” Swamy said.
The news has sent Jayalalithaa’s supporters who were celebrating after some misleading reports earlier that she was granted bail soon turned gllomy and decided to continue their protest over her conviction.
Hindustan Times, which had put out the story under #BreakingNews with a headline “Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaalithaa granted bail by Karnataka High Court” has quickly sent out a clarification retracting the ealier post. So did many other major newspapers.