The AIADMK had filed an appeal against the court’s decision to set aside all orders of the previous government on converting J Jayalalithaa's residence into a memorial.

File image of former CM Jayalalithaa at her Chennai Veda Nilayam residence
news Court Monday, December 20, 2021 - 19:29

A division bench of the Madras High Court on Monday, December 20, reserved its orders on an appeal from the AIADMK, challenging the November 24 ruling of a single judge who had set aside all the orders of the previous government on converting late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's residence in Chennai into a memorial.

The bench of Justices Paresh Upadhyay and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup reserved its orders after listening to brief arguments advanced by the senior counsel for petitioner — AIADMK leader and former Law Minister and the party's Villupuram district secretary C Ve Shanmugham, and Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram.

The AG told the judges the present government did not choose to challenge the orders of the single judge, as a division bench had held against the conversion, on an earlier occasion. This follows a submission from petitioner's senior counsel A L Somayaji earlier that mere change in the government should not result in non-challenge to the orders of the single judge.

In his November 24 order, Justice N Seshasayee had quashed all the orders passed from 2017 by the then AIADMK government which ultimately culminated in the taking over of the sprawling Poes Garden property in 2020, to convert it into a memorial, which was inaugurated in January this year.

He had also observed there was no need for a second memorial in addition to the one on the Marina. “This would be a mere waste of public money. No public interest would also be serviced,” he had said. The appeal sought to quash the orders of the single judge, after expunging all the remarks made by him.

On December 10, 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. Deepa and Deepak are the children ofJayakumar, Jayalalithaa’s brother.

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.

 
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