Chennai: Former Tamilnadu Chief Minister J Jayalaithaa’s close aide V K Sasikala, who was convicted and sentenced to four year jail term in the disproportionate assets case in 2017, might be released from prison on 27 January next year, provided she paid the fine imposed on her.
However, if she did not pay the fine, she would undergo another one year imprisonment. Confirming this in response to a plea made under the RTI Act, Public Information Officer Bangalore Central Prison Superintendent R Latha said as per prison records convict prisoner number 9234 Sasikala’s ‘probable date of release’ is January 27, 2021, provided in-default fine amount is paid as awarded by the court’.
“Further, her ‘probable date of release’ would be 27 February, 2022, if the fine is not paid. Subseqeuntly, probable date of release may vary if she utilises parole facility”, Latha said.
Sasikala was lodged in Parappana Agrahara Central prison in Bengaluru since 15 February, 2017 after the Supreme Court set aside the High Court order acquitting her and upheld the trail court order convicting her to four years hail term in the disproportionate assets case, in which the late leader Jayalalithaa, was also involved.
Apart from the four year jail term, the court also directed Sasikala to pay a fine of Rs 10 crore.
Bengaluru-based social activist T Narasimamurthy filed an RTI query seeking details of her release in August to which the prison department has given its reply.
Sasikala’s nephew Sudhakaran and her close relative J Ilavarasi were also serving four year jail term along with her.
It may be recalled that the Income-Tax department had on 31 August attached 65 properties worth Rs 300 crore at the time of purchase between 2003 and 2005 and allegedly owned by her Benamis.
It included an under construction residence in a site right across Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence. The site measured about 10 grounds (24,000 sq ft plot), which was once owned by Binny Mills Limited.
The Income Tax department’s Benami Prohibition Unit has provisionally attached properties in and around the city worth Rs 300 crore allegedly belonging to Sasikala.
She is said to have purchased these properties through shell companies. Sources said a notice had been served to Sasikala at the Bengaluru prison, the ‘benami company’ and the various Sub-Registrar Offices (SROs) under whose jurisdiction the properties were situated.
These properties, collectively spread over 200 acres, were purchased by Sri Hari Chandana Estates Private Limited, represented by Kaliyaperumal and Sivakumar. The properties were situated in Poes Garden, Alandur, Tambaram, Guduvanchery and Sriperumbudur.
The company had no business or income to purchase these properties and enquiries by the IT department revealed that these were benami properties of Sasikala.