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Rediff.com  » News » Prisoner 7402 is not fussy

Prisoner 7402 is not fussy

Last updated on: September 28, 2014 20:03 IST

J Jayalalithaa

Until very late on Saturday night, her followers -- mostly cabinet ministers -- camped outside the prison. They were seen holding the prison walls and crying. Despite several attempts by the police to send them away, they refused to budge.

Her first meal in jail was fruits, bread and curd rice.

J Jayalalithaa, who was convicted by a special court on Saturday, September 27, and sentenced to four years in prison, spent her first night in jail. According to officials at the Parapana Agraharam Prison in Bangalore, she is not a fussy prisoner. She was given a white saree to wear and has been alloted the number 7402.

Jayalalithaa's lawyers made several pleas to the court to show her some consideration, but Special Court Judge Michael D Cunha had this to say in response: 'We need to deal with sternly against those in public offices who indulge in corruption.'

Those privy to Saturday's proceedings told Rediff.com that there was a sense of defeat when the sentence was pronounced. Jayalalithaa had hoped that the sentence would be less than three years so that she could apply for bail immediately before the special court and not wait to go in appeal to the high court.

The law states that for a conviction of below three years an application for bail can be sought before the court which pronounced the verdict. However if it is more than three years, then the accused would need to approach a higher court.

Jayalalithaa's team of lawyers made several pleas before the court that she had gone through much mental trauma in the past 18 years due to this case. They said it was a case planted on her by her political opponents, that she has a health condition and age is catching up with her. She was 46 when this case was filed and today she is 64, her lawyers told the court.

But Judge D'Cunha was unrelenting. 'This is not an ordinary case,' the judge declared. 'It is a case of corruption by a public servant and such cases should be dealt with, with an iron hand. Your claim that you have suffered for 18 years cannot be a ground in this case. All through the 18 years you were called only twice before the court.'

Jayalalithaa was quiet after the verdict. At the prison she was reserved and appeared withdrawn most of the time. Despite being told that she could stay at the hospital she refused, telling the prison authorities that she would like to sleep and not be disturbed.

Jayalalithaa will have to stay in prison until the Karnataka high court hears her appeal. The high court is on vacation for Dussera and the next sitting of the vacation Bench is on Tuesday, September 30.

Her lawyers would need to make a special application before the filing branch on Monday, September 29, so that the matter can be taken up on Tuesday itself. In the petition, she will seek a stay of both the conviction and sentence.

Until very late on Saturday night, her followers -- mostly cabinet ministers -- camped outside the prison. They were seen holding the prison walls and crying. Despite several attempts by the police to send them away, they refused to budge.

After her arrest, Jayalalithaa underwent a medical test at the prison hospital. The prison authorities coaxed her to be shifted to the Jayadeva hospital, but she refused to leave the prison and insisted that she stayed there.

After dinner, she went to sleep at 11 pm. She keeps to herself and does not speak to anyone.

Her lawyers will file an application before the prison authorities to shift her to Chennai as they feel there is better security there. They had made this plea to the jail authorities on Saturday too, but the prison authorities refused to oblige.

A Special Correspondent/Rediff.com