In any case a judge hast to see two things before awarding punishment.
One is aggravating circumstances/factors and another one is mitigating circumstances or factors.Aggravating circumstances/factors gives reason for severe punishment. Mitigating circumstances or factors gives reason for leniency or why punishment to be reduced.
The judgment by Cunha clearly shows he has given more importance to aggravating factors and null importance to mitigating circumstances/factors.
According to Cunha the following are Aggravating factors:
1* Corruption is a serious crime
2* The manner in which assets accumulated ( According to sinha “these firms were constituted only to siphon off the unlawful resources accumulated by A-1” (A-1:Jayalalitha)
3* A-1 is occupying a high position in the Government of State of Tamil Nadu.
By considering Serving CM is an aggravating factor Judge Cunha gives us reason to think that “Nobody is equal in front of Law” and not “All are equal before the eyes of law”.
Why no mitigating factors considered?
In this Judgement Cunha rejected an important mitigating factor. He says “The good conduct of the accused also may not be a circumstance mitigating the gravity of the offence". All over the world good conduct of accused is considered as a mitigating factor in all the cases. Even in this case her good conduct should have been considered by Cunha as a mitigating factor. The very purpose of punishment is to reform the accused. In this case Jayalalitha has already reformed herself. She did not do anything bad after 1996 and her conduct is good. She was also administrating well and brought several schemes for the well being of the poor.
When occupying high position in government can be considered as an aggravating factor, why good conduct while occupying high position in government cannot be considered as a mitigating factor?
Age is another mitigating factor considered before awarding sentence. In this case Cunha failed to consider Jayalalitha’s age which is 66 now.
One of the reason why Cunha did not consider mitigating factors is he and current judges thinks corruption is a serious crime. Corruption is a serious crime no doubt about that. But this should not be a sole reason to avoid mitigating factors in providing verdict.
Keeping in mind Jayalalitha’s good conduct, age, welfare schemes she brought to the well being of the poor Judges should show leniency towards her.
I would like to reiterate again that the purpose of sentence/punishment is to reform the person. In this case Jayalalitha has already reformed herself and shows good conduct for the past 18 years. Given all these factors in mind Judges should reduce her punishment in a way which will not affect her political career and people of the state,who democratically elected her as CM. .