The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it is also actively considering converting “Veda Nilayam”, the residence of late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa at upscale Poes Garden, into the official residence of the Chief Minister.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan submitted before Justice Anand Venkatesh that the government would be acquiring not only the immovable property but also the movables to make as it was during the times of the late chief minister.
The submission was made during the hearing of a plea of a residents association against converting Jayalalithaa’s residence into a memorial.
The Madras HC had in May suggested the state government to convert a part of late J Jayalalithaa’s residence Veda Nilayam as a memorial while adding that a part of her residence could also be used as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s office.
The A-G 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 Governor Banwarilal Purohit had in May issued an ordinance to allow the state government to take temporary possession of Veda Nilayam and set a foundation under present Chief Minister K Palaniswami to convert it into a memorial.
In a May hearing, the high court also declared J Deepak and J Deepa, the nephew and niece of the late Chief Minister, as the “Class II legal heirs of” of her estate and other assets.
The assets of the late Chief Minister are estimated to be worth more than Rs 900 crore.
The division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose was hearing a petition filed by J Deepak and granted him and J Deepa to administrate all the properties of the late chief minister.
“Deepak and Deepa are second class legal heirs of the late Chief Minister, being the son and daughter of her late brother Jayakumar,” the bench said while making it clear that the two were entitled for administration in respect of the estate held individually by late Jayalalithaa or in the names of firms or companies and the credits of the former AIADMK chief.
“State public money cannot be wasted for the purpose of constructing the memorial. The real tribute to any leader should be paid by following his/her principles and working for the benefit of the people and development of the society. If the government intends to make the residence of Late Chief Minister’s memorial as residence, there will be not be any end for such proposals,” observed the bench.
Jayalalithaa, more popularly known as Amma among her supporters, died in December 2016 while undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai for more than 70 days.
(With PTI inputs)