Chennai: J Jayalalithaa will remain in jail for now, with the Karnataka High Court adjourning a hearing of her bail plea to October 7, next Tuesday. Ms Jayalalithaa has been in a Bangalore prison since Saturday, after she was found guilty of corruption. Now, the Tamil Nadu government has to seize the former chief minister's properties to pay the Rs 100 crore fine levied by the court.
Ms Jayalalithaa, 66, was in the middle of her third term as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister when she was convicted last Saturday for corruption in 18-year-old case. She says the charges against her are politically motivated.
She was found guilty of misusing her office during her first stint from 1991 to 1996, to accumulate vast wealth that could not be accounted for by her declared sources of income.
Ms Jayalalithaa has appealed to the Karnataka High Court against her conviction, she has also asked for bail. Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani is representing her.
The prosecution has objected to her bail on grounds that she is an influential person and could manipulate the court case. It also said she and other accused could run away. The politician, who heads the AIADMK, has said that she is unwell. She is a diabetic.
Along with the four-year prison term, the court has levied a Rs 100 crore fine on Ms Jayalalithaa. The cash and fixed deposits they have will be used to pay the fine. In case it falls short, the court has ordered the state to liquidate their jewellery.
Her conviction meant automatic disqualification as a legislator and she had to step down as chief minister. In Chennai, her loyal aide O Panneerselvam, 63, took over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Monday, breaking down as he took oath.
Ms Jayalalithaa's arrest has triggered large protests. Workers of her party, the AIADMK, wept as they protested outside the homes and offices of the rival DMK, which had pursued the case against her. AIADMK, which swept Tamil Nadu in May's general election, is the third largest in Parliament.
Actors, directors and others from the film industry in Tamil Nadu are on a hunger strike in Chennai. The city's cinema theaters remained shut till 6 pm on Tuesday. Popular actor Srikanth said they were demonstrating "support and solidarity" for Ms Jayalalithaa, a former actress.
Ms Jayalalithaa is Prisoner No 7402 in Bangalore's Central Prison - her trial was transferred there in 2001 to ensure that her party's influence in her home state would not influence the case.
Tamil Nadu votes for its next government in 2016. Unless Ms Jayalalithaa's conviction is overturned by a higher court, she would not be able to contest the state election.