Government can’t take Jayalalithaa’s house: High Court

In July 2020, the Tamil Nadu government deposited Rs 67.9 crore to take possession of the property.

Chennai:

The state government’s acquisition of the Poes Garden residence of former Tamil Nadu chief minister late J Jayalalithaa was today quashed by the Madras High Court as her legal heirs, her nieces and nephews J Deepa and J Deepak, challenged the acquisition.

The previous AIADMK government had proposed to convert Veda Nilayam, the home of the state’s eminent chief minister, into a memorial. The AIADMK also said that the party has the “responsibility and authority” to convert the House into a memorial and it was the “whole of desire” of the people of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK party workers.

It was one of the pre-conditions for the merger of the two warring factions of the AIADMK in 2017 – months after Jayalalithaa’s death – and was announced by Chief Minister E Palaniswami at the time.

In July last year, the state government had deposited Rs 67.9 crore in a city court to take possession of the 0.55-acre property.

But Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew, who was declared her legal heir by the court, had objected, saying the acquisition would amount to “grabbing” the property.

J Deepa said, “She (Jayalalithaa) could not leave behind a will for various reasons… probably because of the cases against her, the current political situation and she never knew she would die.” News agency Press Trust of India.

Jayalalithaa, popularly known as Amma across the state, died in December 2016 after a prolonged illness. The four-time chief minister, known for her Amma canteen and several other welfare measures, incited passionate displays of loyalty.

His death caused chaos within the party and the government as his colleague VK Sasikala tried to seize power. The party was split with each faction led by Sri Palaniswami and the then rebel leader O Panneerselvam becoming Deputy Chief Minister.

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