Since late CM Jayalalitha did not leave a will, her niece and nephew currently stake a claim to the property based on their grandmother Sandhya’s will.

TN govt to convert Jayalalithaas Veda Nilayam into a memorial but is it legal Facebook
news Jayalalitha death Friday, August 18, 2017 - 10:28
Hours after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced that the state government would convert late CM Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial, her niece Deepa Jayakumar claimed “moral, legal and ethical right” over ‘Veda Nilayam’. Built by Jayalalithaa and her mother Sandhya, Deepa argued that the sprawling property at Chennai’s Poes Garden belongs to her family and “no one has the right to sell the asset or convert it into a memorial.”
While Deepa’s brother Deepak has also pointed out that ‘Veda Nilayam’ belongs to their family, he welcomed the move to convert the residence into a memorial for his late aunt, after following the due legal procedures.
 
Although Jayalalithaa did not leave behind a will, both Deepa and Deepak have staked a claim to the property based on their grandmother Sandhya’s will.
So, the question is - can the government go ahead with converting ‘Veda Nilayam’ into a memorial without the consent of the ‘rightful owners’?
 
Speaking to TNM, senior advocate and former Advocate General PS Raman said, “The state government will have to acquire the property before converting it to a memorial.” He added that Deepa need not even move court over the matter, and was well within her rights as a ‘legal heir’ to ask the government to seek consent.
 
Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General P Wilson also observed that the state government has power under the Constitution to acquire Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence, after giving right and fair compensation to the owners. But in the absence of a will, he noted that the government has to find out who the rightful owner is before acquiring the property and providing compensation.
 
“The rightful owner can question the acquisition. But if the court sees importance and considers it as a subject of eminent domain, the property can be acquired by the state government,” argued Wilson. Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to acquire private property for public use. “Only if the court sees mala fide purpose, will the acquisition be quashed”, the senior advocate added.   
 
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Law Minister Cve Shanmugam on Friday told reporters that legal heirs to Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence would be provided compensation by the state government. 
 
Jayalalithaa’s ‘Veda Nilayam’ residence will not be the first private property belonging to a state leader to be acquired by the government. Following the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Kamaraj in 1975, his residence in Chennai and Virudhunagar were purchased by the state government and converted into a memorial.
 
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