Subscribe

Top politician found guilty of corruption in India

Jayaram Jayalalitha will have to step down as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after a court found her guilty of corruption. Indian politicians are rarely convicted for corruption, giving Jayalalitha's supporters reason to believe the ruling was politically motivated. 

  • close
    Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha addresses a press conference in New Delhi, India. Jayalalitha, a charismatic former actress who later joined politics and became the top elected official in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was found guilty Saturday, of corruption in a landmark case filed 18 years ago.
    Saurabh Das/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

A charismatic former actress who later joined politics and became the top elected official in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was sentenced Saturday to four years in prison after a court found her guilty of corruption in a case filed 18 years ago.

Jayaram Jayalalitha will have to step down as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after the court in Bangalore found her guilty of possessing wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income. She also will be disqualified from contesting elections for six years.

Indian politicians are rarely convicted for corruption, and even more rarely end up spending time in jail. Jayalalitha's supporters say the case is a political conspiracy to discredit her.

In addition to the prison sentence, the court fined Jayalalitha 250 million rupees ($4.7 million). The prosecutor's office said she would seek bail from a higher court.

Security was tight outside the court, with more than 5,000 police officers and paramilitary troops throwing a security cordon around the building. Roads were blocked 2 kilometers (about a mile) from the court to keep away Jayalalitha's supporters, who threatened to hold protests against the verdict.

Across Tamil Nadu, shopkeepers closed their stores and police were on alert, as Jayalalitha's followers gathered outside her home in the heart of Chennai city. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalitha, 66, was accused in 1996 of amassing a fortune of 660 million rupees ($11 million) at a time when she was taking a token 1 rupee as her monthly salary.

Court cases move so slowly through India's judicial system that decades can go by without a verdict.

Jayalalitha joined politics in the early 1980s after a successful film career in southern India that included appearances in nearly 150 movies. She has had three stints as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, including her latest one, which began in May 2011.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK