By Anand M,
The verdict in Puratchi Thalaivi – Revolutionary Leader – Jayalalitha’s case is a clear miscarriage of justice.
More importantly, it is a violation of her Fundamental Right.
Firstly, it is a violation of her right to own Sarees and shoes.
Secondly, it is violates of Art 14 of the Constitution of India. (Art. 14: Right to Equality before law states: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law …….” Her counsel seems to have missed the argument that the Revolutionary Leader cannot be prosecuted until all others in her trade are prosecuted too. She should demand a stay in her conviction until the 2G scam, the coal scam, Tatra Truck scam, Antrix Devas scam, Augusta Westland scam, Railgate etc. are not decided on. Equality before law promised by Art. 14 again.
Thirdly, the huge mitigating factor that she’s only amassed wealth, not authorised encounters or engaged in any criminal activity such as inciting communal hatred etc. seems to have been completely overlooked.
It is not only a Court that has been rough to her. Forbes never published a list of who owns the highest number of sarees and shoes in the world.
How much should a popular leader, elected and re-elected be punished? Jail, fine, loss of Assembly seat, loss of Chief Ministership, bar from contesting for 10 years. It might be violate of Sec 71 of IPC. Isn’t that against one conviction for one crime?
She’ll probably be dismissed from the Imelda Marcos club too. Remember, to have live membership of that club you have to have physical possession of over 10000 Sarees and 750 shoes. You cannot have your hard earned assets in police custody and continue to be a member.
While she’ll have enough time to consider her options, here are a things she can do:
1) Find a good reason to shift to hospital, that’s the least someone of her stature deserves.
2) A good remote is something she’ll obviously have arranged for to run the State. Unfortunately Mr Balasaheb Thackerey is not around for consultation.
3) There’s no reason to lose hope. The Revolutionary followers will keep her seat warm, and she should reoccupy it as soon as she’s available in 2024.
4) If the age of 76 in 2024 is a problem she can consult Mr V K Singh on how to tinker with it.
5) She can request Mr Arun Jaitley to come to her defence. Of course, Mr Jaitley’s lines are prepared, “One small incident of amassing assets disproportionate to known sources of income has cost the country a truly Revolutionary Leader.
6) She should demand a referendum in Tamil Nadu on whether she’s guilty or not. It will be a step towards decentralisation of powers, deepening of democracy, something in keeping with all the laws dealing with devolution of powers.