Madras HC puts brakes on TN govt’s plan; Convert Jaya house into memorial


Chennai: Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to reconsider its decision to convert former chief minister Jayalalitha’s residence ” Veda Nilayam” into a memorial. The division bench of Madras High Court comprising of R Kirubakaran and Abdul Qudhose delivering the verdict suggested that the property can be used as residence cum Chief Minister’s office than converting it into a memorial.

Observing that by law J Deepa and J Deepak, niece and nephew of former chief minister Jayalalithaa, are her class II legal heirs, the bench observed that only a portion of the property can be converted to a memorial if required.

“If governments are allowed to use public money to acquire private properties then there will be no end to it”, observed the bench.

The court also dismissed Pugazhendis and one P Janakiraman petition to appoint them as administrators to administer the properties of Jayalalithaa worth over Rs 913 crore. The 24,000 square feet residence in Chennai is named “Veda Nilayam” after Jayalalithaa’s mother.

The court also directed the state and the petitioners to allot a few properties, according to their discretion and create a registered Public Trust in the name of their late aunt “Dr. J. Jayalalithaa” for the purpose of doing public and social service.

The court ordered for a compliance report be filed within eight weeks.

Political commentator Tharasu Shyam told Express: “The Madras HC has asserted that J Deepa and J Deepak as the Class II legal heirs to the properties of J Jayalalithaa.   This is as per the Hindu Succession Act.  Apart from Veda Nilayam, Jayalalithaa has many other properties. Today’s verdict will help Deepa and Deepak in getting certificates as legal heirs from the officials concerned for the other properties.  Apart from this, whatever the court said today are recommendations.  There is no binding on the government or Deepa and Deepak to accept them.

The government has promulgated an Ordinance to convert Veda Nilayam as a memorial.  But there is no legal suit against it before the court.

The general moral from this verdict is this: Like the late leader MG Ramachandran, everyone should leave a will stating how their properties should be dealt with after their demise.”