India

Jayalalitha: India politician appeals over corruption sentence

Jayalalitha (file picture) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jayalalitha has been a prominent figure for years, acquiring a reputation for enjoying a lavish lifestyle

The imprisoned former chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Jayaram Jayalalitha, has appealed against her sentence.

One of India's most colourful and controversial politicians, Jayalalitha was jailed for four years on corruption charges at the weekend.

In a case that lasted 18 years, she was found guilty of amassing unaccounted wealth of more than $10m (£6.1m).

Her party has named finance minister O Panneerselvam as her successor.

Mr Panneerselvam was sworn in as chief minister on Monday.

In its ruling on Saturday, the special court in Bangalore also ordered her to pay a 1bn rupee ($16m; £10m) fine and resign as chief minister.

On Monday morning, Jayalalitha's lawyers appealed against the judgement at the Karnataka High Court and also sought bail for her.

Reports say the high court is expected to hear the appeal on Tuesday, which the prosecution is thought likely to challenge.

Jayalalitha's life has been marked by a series of high and lows.

Known by her followers as Amma or Mother, she inspires intense loyalty, even adoration.

The flamboyant former film star has a huge following in the state and her imprisonment dismayed her supporters who have held protests and wept openly.


Jayalalitha: Mercurial personality

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Former actress who appeared in more than 100 films
  • Chief minister of Tamil Nadu on four occasions - from 1991-96, briefly in 2011, 2002-06 and 2011-14
  • Has alternated in power with her great rival, 90-year-old DMK leader M Karunanidhi
  • Feted by various Indian prime ministers over the last 20 years trying to win her support
  • Critics accuse her of establishing a personality cult, but supporters praise her poverty relief efforts
  • Known for her extravagant lifestyle - police once discovered more than 10,000 saris and 750 pairs of shoes in a raid on her premises

Profile: Jayaram Jayalalitha


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