The Madras High Court had on November 25 asked that 'Veda Nilayam' be handed over to her legal heirs, nephew Deepak and niece Deepa.

Deepa and husband Madhavan greet media at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden home
news Jaya home dispute Friday, December 10, 2021 - 16:19

J Deepa and J Deepak, niece and nephew of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her legal heirs, secured the keys to her Poes Garden residence Veda Nilayam on Friday, December 10. The Madras High Court had on November 25 directed the Tamil Nadu government to hand over 'Veda Nilayam' to Deepak and Deepa within three weeks. Both heirs had filed separate applications to the District Collector of Chennai seeking a handover of the property to them as per the orders and directive of the Madras High Court. Deepa and Deepak are the children ofJayakumar, Jayalalithaa’s brother.

Speaking to the media after securing the keys, Deepa said, “This is a big win for us. After fighting a long legal battle, we have got a positive result. AIADMK is a big political party. They have a lot more things to focus on and not fight on this. If they still want to fight, I can deal with it legally.”

The previous AIADMK-led state government had taken over the 24,322 square feet house at Poes Gardens in 2020 to create a memorial for the late Chief Minister. The previous state government's decision was quashed by the Madras High Court, saying the late Chief Minister already had a memorial at Marina Beach and ordered that property be handed over to Deepa and Deepak within three weeks.

However, shortly after the High Court decision, the AIADMK on December 1, moved the Madras High Court with an appeal challenging the ruling. In its present appeal, former Law Minister and Villupuram district secretary of the AIADMK, C Ve Shanmugham submitted that the single judge order is erroneous and contrary to the settled proposition of law.

Watch TNM’s Anna Isaac explain the entire controversy:

The Madras High Court had also ruled that the Income Tax Department can begin its proceedings to collect pending tax on the property and on December 6, the High Court directed the Income Tax department to file applications bringing in Deepak and Deepa’s names in the records relating to the wealth and income tax cases pending against Jayalalithaa. The bench gave two weeks time to the IT department counsel Karthick Ranganathan for bringing in the names of Deepa, the niece and Deepak, nephew of Jayalalithaa on record in the cases pending against her for over two decades.

According to Ranganathan, Jayalalitha owed Rs 10.12 crore towards wealth tax arrears from 1990-91 to 2011-12 and another Rs 6.63 crore as income tax dues from 2005-06 to 2011-12 to the IT department. 

Her properties in Poes Garden in Chennai and the ones in Hyderabad had been attached by the department. It had also filed cases against her for the non-payment of the taxes in 1997. Aggrieved, Jayalalithaa had moved the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which passed an order in her favour. Challenging this, the IT department filed as many as 18 appeals in the High Court. When they came up before the bench, led by Justice Mahadevan, the judge gave the direction after taking into consideration the fact that Jayalalithaa had died in the meanwhile in December 2016 and Deepa and Deepak had been declared as her legal heirs.