The Tamil Nadu government wants to convert the vast residential property of the former CM into a memorial.

Whats the need to convert Jayas Veda Nilayam into memorial Madras HC asks TN govt
news Court Monday, July 08, 2019 - 19:19

The Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on the state government’s plans to convert the Veda Nilayam residence in Chennai of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa into a memorial asking if it was necessary. Posing the question to the government, the court asked, “What is the necessity to convert the former Chief Minister’s residence into a memorial by spending taxpayer’s money?”

The court was hearing the petition of AIADMK functionary Pugazhendi who had asked that an independent executor be appointed to administer the late AIADMK supremo’s estates. In 2018, Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew, J Deepa and J Deepak, approached the Madras High Court seeking letters of administration to be made to her properties. On Monday, they reiterated their objection to the Veda Nilayam residence being converted into a memorial. They also contended the decision of the government to acquire the property for just Rs 35 crore when the market value of the 10-ground property in the heart of the city would be well over Rs 100 crore.

Stating that there were many ways to remember Jayalalithaa, a Division Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose asked what was the need to spend public money on the memorial. It also observed that the Ministers of the government were invoking the late leader’s name at the beginning of every speech.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016, and is believed to have left no will. This led to multiple claims to her Veda Nilayam residence, a sprawling 24,000 square feet property in Poes Garden, a posh residential neighbourhood. Concerns grew since Jayalalithaa’s close aide VK Sasikala was residing in the property. However, with Sasikala’s conviction in the Disproportionate Assets case and her subsequent imprisonment, the Tamil Nadu government announced in August 2017 that the house would be converted into a memorial.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on July 22.

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