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NEW DELHI – India's top court Friday granted temporary bail to a charismatic southern Indian politician who was sentenced to four years in prison for corruption last month.
The Supreme Court also ordered Jayaram Jayalalitha, a former movie star, to provide the court with all the documents related to the corruption case by Dec. 18 or her bail would be cancelled.
Jayalalitha had to step down as chief minister of Tamil Nadu state after a court in Bangalore last month found her guilty of possessing wealth disproportionate to her income. She is also disqualified from contesting elections for six years.
Jayalalitha had asked for bail while a lower court considers her plea to suspend her prison sentence. She also has appealed her conviction.
The 65-year-old requested bail because she said she suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure and needed medical attention.
Subramanian Swamy, a politician and one of the petitioners in the corruption case, told reporters in New Delhi that the court had ordered the politician not to venture out of her house while on bail.
The court also ordered the politician to instruct her party members and supporters to not resort to violence to protest against their leader's conviction. Thousands had resorted to vandalism when the verdict was first announced last month.
On Friday, Jayalalitha's jubilant supporters took to the streets of Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state, dancing and beating drums and distributing sweets. She has spent the last three weeks in prison and it wasn't immediately clear when she would walk out.
Jayalalitha was accused in 1996 of amassing 660 million rupees ($11 million) at a time when she was taking a token 1 rupee as her monthly salary.
Cases move so slowly through India's overburdened judicial system that decades may go by without a verdict.
Jayalalitha joined politics in the early 1980s after a successful film career in southern India that included appearances in nearly 150 movies. She has had three stints as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, including her latest one, which began in May 2011.