Madras HC stays acquisition of Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence

Chennai, Nov 24: The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside the previous AIADMK government’s decision to convert former CM Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam house at Poes Garden in Chennai into a memorial.
Justice N Seshasayee quashed the order while allowing a batch of writ petitions from J Deepa Jayakumar, niece of Jayalalithaa and J Deepak, her brother, challenging the order of the state government, today.
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.
The residential building in the upscale locality comprises office room, library, waiting room for guests and conference hall.
Named after the former Chief Minister”s mother Vedavalli (whose screen name was Sandhya), ”Veda Nilayam” at number 81, in upscale Poes Garden is spread over 24,322 square feet and has a landscaped garden.
The residential building comprises office room, library, waiting room for guests, conference hall and the premises has been cleaned up and painted, a government release said.
Reportedly, the property was bought by Jayalalithaa”s mother in the late 1960”s and it was home to the late Chief Minister for over three decades.
The Poes Garden house was occupied by AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, close aide of Jayalalithaa, till she surrendered in a Bengaluru court in February to serve her term in the disproportionate wealth case.
There have been demands from the rival O Panneerselvam camp that the house be converted into a memorial.
On August 17, 2017 then Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced Veda Nilayam would be converted into a memorial and opened to public in remembrance of her achievements and service to the people.
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.
In January this year, Veda Nilayam, converted into a memorial, was declared open by Palaniswami.

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