In May, the High Court had declared Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew J Deepak as her legal heirs.

Tamil Nadu ministers paying obeisance to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at her memorial at the Marina beach in Chennai Those paying respects include Edappadi K Palaniswami O Panneerselvam Sellur K Raju and D Jayakumar Image for representation/PTI
news Jayalalithaa Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 11:30

The government of Tamil Nadu made it official that it is planning to convert a portion of ‘Veda Nilayam’, the Poes Garden property of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, into the Chief Minister’s official residence. 

The submission was made on Wednesday during the hearing of a plea of a residents association against converting Jayalalithaa's residence into a memorial. Advocate General (AG) Vijay Narayan submitted before Justice Anand Venkatesh that the government would be acquiring not only the immovable property but also the movable assets to make it as it was during the times of the late Chief Minister.

The AG submitted that the suggestion of a division bench of the high court to convert a major portion of the property into the official residence of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu instead of a memorial was also under the active consideration.

He opposed the plea by Poes Garden and Kasthuri Estate House Owners Association, which contended that if Jayalalithaa's residential premises was allowed to be converted into a memorial, it would affect the peaceful lives of its members as the place would be frequented by thousands of people.

Justice Anand Venkatesh, however, dismissed the plea as premature and on mere apprehensions. The Judge observed that converting a residence into a memorial was not something new and that it had happened in cases of various leaders who had earned the love and respect of the people.

Tamil Nadu government had, in May, promulgated an ordinance to temporarily take possession of Veda Nilayam and movable assets there as well for setting up a foundation and make arrangements to convert it into a memorial.

However, in the last week of May, the Madras High Court passed order in a three-year long court battle initiated by Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew J Deepa and J Deepak. They had claimed that they are Jayalalithaa’s legal heirs and therefore are entitled to inherit all her property. The court had accepted their arguments and declared Deepa and Deepak as Jayalalithaa’s legal heirs. According to the order passed by the high court, the former Chief Minister’s property and other immovable assets are worth Rs 884 crore.

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