Celebrations outside Jayalalithaa's residence

Chennai: Celebrations broke out at AIADMK general secretary and former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's residence here in Poes Garden on Monday after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in a disproportionate assets case.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, ministers and several district secretaries reached Jayalalithaa's residence to chalk out next course of action.

Party cadres jumped in joy, burst crackers and danced to the drum beats.

They chanted "Long Live Amma" and distributed sweets. Some also smashed coconuts on the ground, as an auspicious sign.

AIADMK cadres assembled outside Jayalalithaa's residence since Monday morning and were waiting with bated breath for the court's decision.

The court struck down the trial court verdict in the Rs.66.65 crore disproportionate assets case on an appeal filed by Jayalalithaa.

"It is a victory for justice. It was a case foisted on her," party spokesperson C.R. Saraswathi said.

AIADMK cadres and leaders also claimed the acquittal was also due to the prayers being held by them ever since Jayalalithaa was convicted by a trial court last year.

This is not the first time in her political career that Jayalalithaa has been convicted by a court and later acquitted.

In 2000, a trial court sentenced her to jail terms of three years and two years in two cases.

In 2001, she had to step down as the chief minister following a Supreme Court verdict which held that she cannot hold the office after being convicted for criminal offences.

However, in 2002 Jayalalithaa again became the chief minister after being acquitted by the Madras High Court. She was later elected from Andipatti assembly constituency.

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