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Jayalalitha (Amma) & Company: The IPC Sections that Nailed them

Posted by Admin on October 6, 2014 | Comment

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While J Jayalalithaa’s 18-year long legal battle ended in her being convicted under sections 13 (1) (e) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Her three associates were convicted for offences punishable under Section 109, 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). For a better understanding of the charges levelled against the ex-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and her aides, it’s imperative to know the clauses mentioned under these sections.

Jayalalitha and Company - The IPC Sections that Nailed them

Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act

The Prevention of Corruption Act was enacted to tackle corruption in government agencies and public sector businesses. According to the Section 13 of this Act, a “public servant is said to commit the offence of criminal misconduct” if he accepts or attempts to accept any favour “as a reward” for doing what he is not supposed to do or not in a position to do. Under this Act, a person will be convicted if he is found to have ‘fraudulently’ misappropriated public property for his own use or allows any other person to do so.

This section of the Prevention of Corruption Act considers an individual an offender in case he obtains any valuable thing by corrupt means or by abusing his position as a government servant. Jayalalithaa was convicted under the clause (e) which considers a public servant as a criminal if the individual amasses wealth or is in possession of anything that doesn’t match the income as known to the government.

In Jayalalithaa’s case, she was accused of amassing properties worth Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income. According to the complainant, the assets were built during her tenure as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996.

Section 109 of Indian Penal Code

An individual can be convicted under Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code if he/she has acted as a facilitator of crime. Abetment of crime is an act of instigation or any action taken as a support for the execution of offence. Abetment of offence could be of different forms. Bribing a public servant or attempting to bribe a government official to get undue favour in return is considered a crime under this Section.

In case an individual instigates another person to give false evidence, the person will be considered guilty of abetting offence. Hence, the instigator becomes liable to the same degree of punishment. The same is true when it comes to plotting a murder. Although the crime is committed in the absence of the conspirator, the latter would still be liable for the same punishment as that of the actual murderer.

Section 120 of Indian Penal Code

The co-accused in the disproportionate assets (DA) case have been convicted under section 120-B of the IPC. The section has clearly explained the quantum of punishment when two or more individuals agree to commit an illegal act or willingly become a party to a criminal conspiracy. According to section 120-B, if a person “voluntarily conceals” any act of omission or the “existence of a design to commit such offence”, he shall be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. The same holds true if the person “makes any representation which he knows to be false”

The section has a provision of a punishment amounting to two years of rigorous imprisonment or above for those who have been a party to a criminal conspiracy “to commit an offence punishable with death.” Jayalalithaa’s friend Sasikala was sentenced to six months of imprisonment since her conspiracy was not aimed at committing “an offence punishable with death.”

SG06.10.2014

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