V K Sasikala, the closest aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, has been nearing to get released from the prison at the beginning of the next year as her legal team has been in the process of paying the fine amount as ordered by the court when she has got convicted in the Disproportionate Assets Case.
Sasikala was convicted in the case in which Jayalalithaa was accused number one. Sasikala was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in February 2017 and she is due to get released in February 2021. She has been lodged in Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bangalore for the past four years and the court had directed her to pay Rs 10 crore as a fine.
According to the reply given by the state prison department to the query raised through the Right to Information Act concerning her release, Sasikala would likely get released from prison on January 27, 2021. However, the prison department said that she would face additional one-year imprisonment if she fails to pay the fine amount of Rs 10 crore. As the jailed leader has been nearing her actual release, her legal team is now in the process of paying the fine.
According to reports, her legal team has submitted details regarding Rs 10 crore that is to be paid as a fine in an open court and the team has been waiting for the official documents accepting the fine to reach their hands. The move from the legal team has come a month after Sasikala had written to them on her release. She wrote to her counsel in October and asked the team to keep the fine amount ready and she had expressed confidence that she would be released early.
In her letter, she instructed her legal team to discuss matters regarding her release with TTV Dhinakaran, who is the RK Nagar MLA and the general secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), the outfit that he launched to rival ADMK. As the fine amount will be paid soon, Sasikala has been expected to have an early release.
Sasikala and her release have been on the political debate as the state is just months away from the assembly polls. Earlier, her lawyer Raja Senthoor Pandian counsel Raja Sethoor Pandian has claimed that the jailed leader can walk out any time before the jail term officially ends on January 27, 2021, if her remission of 129 days is taken into account.
Remission is the reduction of the term of a prison sentence, usually due to good behavior or conduct. The counsel said that Sasikala is entitled to an ordinary remission of 129 days for good behavior and also for not seeking frequent paroles. He said that she would be released in October. However, she hadn't got released in October and she has been expected to get released in January 2021, four months ahead of the state assembly polls. As Sasikala is ready to exit the prison much before the state elections, questions now get surfaced around the state ruling ADMK party that whether the ruling leaders are ready to welcome the release of the jailed leader and how both the top leaders are prepared to meet the challenges that would arise in the party following her release.