The state government had recently paid close to Rs 68 crore towards dues to acquire the residence of the former Chief Minister.

Jayalalithaas niece J Deepa moves Madras HC against state government takeover of Veda Nilayam
news Court Saturday, August 01, 2020 - 15:56

Days after the government of Tamil Nadu took over the possession of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence ‘Veda Nilayam’, her niece J Deepa has moved the High Court against the takeover.

In her petition, J Deepa, who was declared as one of the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, has sought a stay against the Income Tax Department from getting the tax dues of Rs 36 crores which the state government paid in the civil court as part of the compensation for the property. She has also sought an order against the state government from taking away the movable assets from inside the property. She also sought the court to order the state government to hand over all the movable assets in the property to her since those are 'precious treasure of her ancestors for decades'.

The Madras High Court had, in May, declared J Deepa and her brother J Deepak as Jayalalithaa’s legal heirs. The court had added that the compensation for the acquisition of the property must be paid to them.

In the last week of July, the government of Tamil Nadu deposited Rs 67.90 crore in a city civil court as compensation to acquire Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden property. The amount includes Jayalalithaa’s pending Income Tax and wealth tax dues to the tune of Rs 36.9 crore. The remaining amount has been calculated based on the amount payable per square feet area of the 24,322 square feet property. Once the Income Tax Department recovers its dues from the court, the government of Tamil Nadu will become the sole owner of the property.

The state government had, on July 15, told the court that it was considering converting a portion of Veda Nilayam into the Chief Minister’s official residence. The court had earlier expressed its reservations against converting the property into a memorial for the former Chief Minister. The conversion of Veda Nilayam into a memorial for Jayalalithaa was one of the conditions behind the unification of the two factions of AIADMK — one led by current Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the other led by the current deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam — in 2017. The party had split into two factions after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016.

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