The Madras High Court on Monday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition challenging the latter’s proposal to convert the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa into a memorial. Justice K Ravichandra Baabu sought the government’s response by October 23 on the petition filed by J Deepa, niece of the late AIADMK leader.
The petitioner prayed for an interim injunction restraining authorities from transforming the property pursuant to a release issued by Chief Minister K Palaniswami in this regard recently.
She submitted that her paternal grandmother Vedavalli alias Sandhya had purchased several properties in and around Chennai and died in 1971 leaving behind her son Jayakumar and daughter Jayalalithaa as successors to her estate.
Deepa claimed that her father got married after her grandmother’s death and lived in a joint family with his wife, children as well as his sister (Jayalalithaa) in the same house for a long time.
Later, for the sake of convenience, the family had to move to the present residence at T Nagar here, she said. Deepa further submitted that Jayalalithaa died last year leaving behind her and her brother as second class legal heirs to succeed to her entire estate which also includes the Poes Garden residence.
Noting that she had to continue the legacy of her aunt “due to undue pressure and love of the AIADMK cadres”, Deepa said she was shocked to come across a government press release about converting her aunt’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial.
“The press release of the chief minister is without any basis and he (K Palaniswami) has got no locus standi to issue it with respect to a private property which lawfully belongs to me and my brother,” she said.
The petitioner alleged that in a haste, officials of the revenue and tourism departments are surveying the property “which is nothing but illegal”. Palaniswami had on August 17 announced that his government would convert Jayalalithaa’s ‘Veda Nilayam’ residence here into a memorial.