Tamil News

Madras HC Quashes Proceedings to Convert Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam into a Memorial

The Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the proceedings initiated by the previous AIADMK government to convert late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence Veda Nilayam, at Poes Garden in Chennai, into a memorial.


Justice N Seshasayee, who passed the order, allowed petitions filed by Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew J Deepak challenging the previous government’s acquisition proceedings. He also said the Income Tax Department can initiate the attachment proceedings as per law.

Deepa and Deepak had earlier filed a petition challenging the previous government’s move to acquire the property, claiming that they are emotionally attached to their aunt’s residence.

On January 27, the court had passed an interim order restraining the government from throwing open the Poes Garden residence to the public and turning it into a memorial.

Agreeing with advocate SL Sudarsanam, who was representing Deepak, the judge observed on Wednesday that there was no need for another memorial after the government had already spent a considerable amount of public money in constructing a mausoleum for the former chief minister at Marina Beach, Chennai.

According to The Times of India, the counsel for Deepa and Deepak stated that the two had plans to use the residence for charitable purposes through a public trust. They also argued that the authorities had not given them an opportunity to submit their objections against the acquisition of Veda Nilayam.


“A division bench of this court which declared us as the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa has also directed us to establish a public trust in our aunt’s name with a few of the properties to do charity. State’s action in acquiring the property to convert it into a memorial will be against the order,” they added.

In a counter affidavit, Acquisition Officer N Lakshmi said that the conversion of residences of popular leaders into government memorials is a world-wide practice and not a new phenomenon.

“Apart from being a beacon of inspiration to residents of Tamil Nadu, the proposed memorial at Veda Nilayam will also serve as a tourist attraction. Therefore, the acquisition should be considered as falling within the meaning of public purpose,” she argued.

However, Justice Seshasayee rejected her argument that the acquisition was in public interest and ruled to quash the proceedings. He further directed the state to hand over the property to Deepa and Deepak in three weeks.