Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa has approached the Madras High Court, opposing the decision by the Edappadi Palaniswami government to turn the erstwhile CM’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial.
“I respectfully submit that I am filing the writ petition aggrieved by the press release issued by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu dated 18.08.2017 stating the property belonging to my paternal aunt J. Jayalalithaa more specifically “Veda Nilayam” bearing door no.81 Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai-600086 will be converted into, J.Jayalalithaa Memorial”, her petition reads.
In her writ petition, Deepa has claimed that she and her brother Deepak are rightful owners of Veda Nilayam and has named the Chief Secretary and secretaries of the PWD, revenue and tourism departments as the respondents in the case.
In her petition, Deepa has said that Poes Garden property was one of the properties acquired by her paternal grandmother Vedavalli aka Sandhya. After her death in 1971, it was Jayalalithaa and Deepa’s father Jayakumar who used to reside as a joint family, the petition stated.
It is only for reasons such as higher studies and “sake of convenience” that Jayakumar moved to their T Nagar residence.
“I further submit that my paternal aunt J. Jayalalithaa during her lifetime purchased several properties in and around Chennai, Kodanad, Hyderabad besides landed properties in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru etc. Since my aunt died intestate without executing a will or testament, I and my brother J. Deepak are entitled to succeed to her estate,” the petition reads.
Mentioning that her father Jayakumar passed away much earlier than Jayalalithaa, the petition said it left them as second class legal heirs to succeed to her entire estate, which also includes Veda Nilayam.
“The press release of the Chief Minister is without any basis and he has got no locus standi to issue a press release with respect to a private property which lawfully belongs to me and my brother as per Hindu Succession Act 1956.
She also asked the High Court to intervene in the “illegal” surveying process for the proposed memorial.
‘“It is reliably learnt that in a haste, the officials of the revenue and tourism departments are surveying the property which is nothing but illegal,” the petition said.
Jayalalitha’s affidavit during the 2016 polls said the property was purchased by Jayalalithaa and her mother on July 15, 1967 at a cost of Rs 1.32 lakh. It is estimated to cost Rs 72.09 crore currently.