Chidambaram Latest of High-Profile Leaders From TN to Serve Time

Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in the INX Media Case on 21 August.

The investigating agency had detained him from his residence following which, late on Wednesday evening, amidst high drama outside his residence, a team of CBI investigators took him to their headquarters. Almost an hour later, the Congress leader was arrested.

Here are five more political leaders from Tamil Nadu who have served time and whose arrests took place in a dramatic fashion.

J Jayalalithaa: Colour TV Scam

Judicial proceedings started in 1996 and continued till 2015, when she was finally acquitted.

The DMK government, under the late former CM M Karunanidhi, had come to power barely seven months previously in May 1996.

On 7 December 1996, after being denied multiple bail pleas, Jayalalithaa was arrested. She was taken in a common police van, and placed in custody in an ordinary cell under judicial custody for thirty days. She was given the same food as that served to the other inmates.

The experience took a toll on her health. It also sowed the seeds of the vendetta which would subsequently haunt Karunanidhi.

M Karunanidhi: Flyover Scam

M Karunanidhi was placed under judicial custody for five days.

M Karunanidhi was the longest-serving CM of Tamil Nadu who came to power five times over many decades.

The Flyover Scam arrest, on 30 June 2001, is considered a vendetta arrest for the 1996 arrest to which he had subjected Jayalalitha. Karunanidhi was picked up from his home at 1:30 am. The entire scene was televised and broadcast on Sun TV, the only Tamil channel at the time. He was put under judicial custody for five days.

Thousands of DMK cadre members were arrested along with him.

M Karunanidhi was earlier arrested in 1953 while taking part in the Dalmiapuram protests.

A Raja: 2G Spectrum Scam

Andimuthu Raja served fifteen months in jail.

Among the 23-odd parties accused in the 40-billion dollar scam, Andimuthu Raja’s name is right at the top. An MP with the DMK, who served under a number of portfolios, A Raja was also the accused who served the greatest number of days in custody: over fifteen months.

He was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for the corrupt sale of telecommunications bandwidth to select organisations at prices lower than the market value of the assets.

MK Kanimozhi was acquitted in 2017.

K Kanimozhi, daughter of M Karunanidhi, served six months in custody as one of the accused in the 2G Spectrum Scam. She was booked for forgery, cheating and criminal breach of trust by a public official under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Now that she has been acquitted by the CBI, she contested the Assembly elections this year in the Tuticorin constituency and won. She is the incumbent deputy leader of the DMK.

VK Sasikala: Disproportionate Assets Case

Sasikala also served time with J Jayalalithaa in 1996.

VK Sasikala is currently the leader of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, a splinter party of the AIADMK. As Jayalalithaa’s closest aide, she was indicted in a number of cases along with Jayalalithaa, including the Colour TV Scam, and the decades-long disproportionate assets case.

After Jayalalithaa’s demise, the acquittal was reversed and Sasikala is currently serving time at the Central Jail, Mysore.

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