India’s top court has upheld the corruption conviction of the head of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu state, ending her chances of becoming the southern state’s next chief minister.

The Supreme Court set aside a lower court order that had cleared Sasikala Natarajan of corruption charges. Corruption is endemic in Indian politics, which is often dominated by outsized personalities and their friends and relatives.

Sasikala was the personal assistant to Jayaram Jayalalitha, a former movie star who became Tamil Nadu’s top politician, or chief minister. Jayalalitha died in office in December triggering a succession battle within her AIADMK party.

The Supreme Court ordered Sasikala and others convicted in the case to complete their four-year jail terms. The conviction also means she cannot hold public office for six years.



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