The Edappadi K Palanisami-led government had earlier announced that the residence of Jayalalithaa will be converted into a memorial and thrown open to the public in remembrance of Amma’s achievements.

The Madras High Court Wednesday set aside an order of the previous AIADMK government to convert ‘Veda Nilayam’, the residence of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa at Poes Garden, Chennai, into a memorial.

Justice N Seshayee quashed the order while allowing a batch of writ petitions filed by Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa and nephew Deepak, (the children of Jayalalithaa’s brother Jayaraman) challenging the decision of the erstwhile AIADMK government.

After cancelling the conversion order dated July 22, 2020 of the Land Acquisition Officer in Guindy under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the judge directed the authorities concerned to hand over the keys of the property back to the petitioners. The court also permitted the Income Tax department to recover dues running to several crores of rupees from the petitioners.

Earlier in January, the government had planned to convert the house into a memorial and throw it open to the public.

However, both Deepak and Deepak moved court and challenged the decision. The Madras High Court had informed the government that the inauguration ceremony can take place but it should not be thrown open to the public until further orders.

In August 2017, the Edappadi K Palanisami-led government announced that the residence of Jayalalithaa will be converted into a memorial and thrown open to the public in remembrance of Amma’s achievements and service to the people of Tamil Nadu.

In May 2020, the court asserted Deepa and Deepak as class II legal heirs entitled to inherit her estate worth more than Rs 100 crore as well as other properties. The Tamil Nadu Assembly had in September 2020 adopted a Bill to replace an ordinance issued for possession of the house and to facilitate vesting of movable properties therein with the government.

The 24,322 sq ft bungalow, which lies in the buzzing Teynampet area has been the epicentre of Tamil Nadu politics for more than three decades. The residence was bought by Jayalalithaa’s mother and film actor Sandhya in 1967. Since then, Jayalalithaa lived in that house till September 22, 2016, when she shifted to Apollo Hospital after her health deteriorated. On December 5, 2016, she succumbed to her illness.

— with PTI inputs

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