PIL filed in SC seeking to stall swearing-in of Sasikala as CM

Apex court to give verdict in Jaya DA case in a week
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Agencies
NEW DELHI
6 Feb 2017

A PIL was today moved in the Supreme Court seeking to restrain AIADMK leader V K Sasikala from being sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister on Tuesday on the ground that the apex court was likely to pronounce within a week the judgement in a corruption case in which she and late CM J Jayalalithaa were accused.

The PIL was filed by Chennai resident Senthil Kumar, General Secretary of NGO Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, hours after the apex court indicated it could deliver its judgement on the appeals challenging the acquittal of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case. The petition is likely to be heard on Tuesday morning. Kumar, who mentioned in the plea that he will argue the matter in person, sought a stay on Sasikala's swearing-in tomorrow, contending that if she was convicted and forced to resign, there was a possibility of riots erupting all over Tamil Nadu. He said law and order may worsen in such an eventuality as the state was already facing a "desperate situation" due to cyclone, demonetization and death of Jayalalithaa. The petitioner claimed in case the appeal against her acquittal results in conviction, the AIADMK workers may once again protest and disturb the normal life of Tamil Nadu.

The petitioner said he filed the plea in the interest of people of Tamil Nadu and to maintain the peace in the state. After Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, Sasikala, who was her shadow for nearly three decades, was elected General Secretary of AIADMK on December 29 and elected leader of its legislature party yesterday. In a verdict that can have implications for Sasikala, who is set to take over as chief minister, the Supreme Court today indicated it could give its judgement on the appeals challenging the acquittal of late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case, also involving her. A bench headed by Justice P C Ghose asked senior advocate Dushyant Dave representing Karnataka to wait for one week after he made a mention before it regarding the delay in pronouncement of the verdict.

Dave said that they have been waiting for the judgement for quite some time and requested the bench to pronounce it soon. The apex court had last year, before the demise of Jayalalithaa, reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the order of her acquittal of the Karnataka High Court. Sasikala, a shadow of Jayalalithaa for nearly three decades, is set to become the chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as the AIADMK Legislature Party yesterday elected her as its leader, over a month after she became the party's powerful general secretary. In case the Supreme Court upholds the lower court order convicting Sasikala and others, she may have to step down from the post she is likely to take over.