TN govt is the owner of Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam after paying Rs 67.9 crore

The Tamil Nadu government deposited the amount in a civil court and it includes compensation to Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew Deepa and Deepak.
File photo of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa greeting the public in Veda Nilayam
File photo of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa greeting the public in Veda Nilayam
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More than three-and-a-half years after former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s demise, the Tamil Nadu government together with the Income Tax Department is now officially the owner of her Veda Nilayam residence in Chennai. Although the Madras High Court had in May declared Jayalalithaa’s nephew Deepak and niece Deepa as the legal heirs of the property, the state government became the owner by depositing Rs 67.9 crore in a city civil court. The TN government may, however, be challenged by Jayalalithaa's heirs.

According to a report published in Times of India, the deposit includes compensation to Deepak and Deepa besides the pending tax dues that Jayalalithaa had owed to the I-T Department. This makes the Tamil Nadu government a joint owner of the 24,322 square property together with the I-T Department. However, once the I-T Department claims its dues amounting to Rs 36.9 crore from the court, it will cease to be an owner, states the report. The announcement that the state government had acquired the Veda Nilayam property on July 22 was made by the Chennai district administrict.  

Although Deepak and Deepa were opposed to the government’s decision to acquire the Poes Garden property, the I-Tax Department wanted the pending dues of Rs 36.9 crores to be settled.

On July 15, the Tamil Nadu government had told the Madras High Court that it had taken its suggestions and was considering converting a portion of Veda Nilayam into the Chief Minister’s residence. This after the court had expressed its reservations over converting Jayalalithaa’s residence into a memorial. The next day, Deepak moved the High Court seeking keys to the Veda Nilayam residence. In his petition he stated that the state government had not taken into consideration his and his sister’s objections over converting the property into a memorial. He had demanded that the court quash notices issued by the Tamil Nadu government to take over the property, and grant him the keys to Veda Nilayam. 

The Madras High Court on May 27 declared Deepak and Deepa as legal heirs of the Veda Nilayam residence. The court had ruled that compensation to acquire the property should be determined and the amount should be paid to Deepa and Deepak. 

The conversion of Veda Nilayam into a memorial was one of the conditions for the merger of the two AIADMK factions - one led by O Panneerselvam and the other by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami. The announcement for the same was made by the CM in August 2017.

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