Jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala was on Friday granted five-day parole to meet her ailing husband M. Natarajan in Chennai. She has been directed to keep away from all political activity during the parole period.
Sasikala, 60, left for Chennai in a private car along with her nephew and sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dinakaran from the jail at Parapanna Agrahara on the city's southern outskirts.
"She (Sasikala) has been given parole for five days till October 11 to meet her ailing husband in the hospital in Chennai," Bengaluru Central Jail Superintendent G. Somashekar told IANS.
Though Sasikala applied for 15 days parole on Wednesday, the prison authority permitted her to be out of jail for only five days with conditions.
"Sasikala has been directed to limit her visit to Chennai. She has also been instructed to desist from any political activity during the parole period," Somashekar said.
She is allowed to meet her relatives but not politicians or her party leaders and lawmakers. She is also prevented from talking to media, he added.
On reaching Chennai, Sasikala drove straight to the T Nagar residence of her niece Krishnapriya. Called 'Chinnamma' by her admirers, Sasikala could not visit Poes Garden, the residence of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, as the state government has decided to turn it into a memorial.
There was a large gathering of supporters in T Nagar as she arrived, with local police stepping up security.
Many supporters congregated along the Bengaluru-Chennai highway to cheer her and shower flowers on the convoy.
During the parole, Sasikala can spend time at the T Nagar residence and at Geneagles Global Hospital where her husband Natarajan, 74, had undergone liver and kidney transplant on Wednesday.
State Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said her visit to Chennai will not have an impact on either the MLAs or the government. "None of the ministers are going to meet Sasikala," he declared.
Sasikala had to inform the Bengaluru prison authorities on the address where she would reside. She said that she would be staying at the residence of her sister-in-law Illavarasi at Habibullah Road in T Nagar, who is also serving sentence in the same case. Her daughter Krishnapriya is living there at present.
Sasikala is serving a four-year sentence in the central prison on the city's outskirts since February 15 after the Supreme Court on February 14 upheld her conviction in a corruption case by a trial court in September 2015 here.
AIADMK's Karnataka unit in-charge Va Pugazhendi told IANS that party's Rajya Sabha lawmaker N. Krishnan gave an undertaking on Sasikala's behalf and deposited Rs 1,000 with the Bengaluru jail as a surety for her parole.
Tamil Nadu Police, which have given no-objection certificate for Sasikala's visit to Chennai, will look after her security during the parole.
Sasikala's co-convicts Illavarasi (sister in-law) and V.N. Sudhakaran (nephew) are also serving the sentence concurrently in the same jail after they were held guilty in the Rs 64-crore disproportionate assets case of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa, who was also convicted in the 19-year-old graft case, passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on December 5, 2016.