Jayalalithaa, who was convicted in a disproportionate assets case by a special court in Bangalore today had suffered similar ignominy 15 years back.
She had to step down in 2001 after a Supreme Court verdict termed her appointment as “unconstitutional” and maintained that she was not qualified to be a member of the legislature in view of her conviction for graft.
The massive mandate that Jayalalithaa secured for AIADMK in the May 2001 elections could not be a licence to be the chief minister, the court had observed.
This time, she has been convicted in an 18-year-old graft case.
Her latest conviction has come at a time when three Parliamentarians — Rasheed Masood, Jagdish Sharma and Lalu Prasad were disqualified following their conviction in separate corruption cases.
Masood had become the first MP to lose his Rajya Sabha seat last year after the Supreme Court struck down a provision that protects a convicted lawmaker from disqualification on the ground of pendency of appeal in higher courts.
Lalu Prasad and Jagdish Sharma, both convicted in the fodder scam, were also disqualified as members of the last Lok Sabha.
Masood’s conviction was the first case after the July 10 Supreme Court judgement that struck down sub-section 4 of Section 8 of Representation of the People Act, under which incumbent MPs, MLAs and MLCs can avoid disqualification till pendency of the appeal against conviction in a higher court.
The appeal has to be made within three months of the conviction.
Seeking to negate the SC verdict, UPA government had introduced a Bill in Parliament in the last Monsoon session.
But following differences with the opposition, the bill could not be passed.
An ordinance on the lines of the bill was later cleared by the Union Cabinet on September 24 last to protect convicted lawmakers.
But reversing its earlier step, the Cabinet on October 2 decided to withdraw the Ordinance as well as Bill in the wake of public outburst against it by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.