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Madras HC quashes acquisition of Jayalalithaa’s house for memorial

The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside the acquisition of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's Veda Nilayam residence located at Poes Garden by the state government. The previous AIADMK government had acquired the Veda Nilayam residence to convert it into a memorial. The HC directed the Tamil Nadu government to hand over the residence to Deepa and Deepak Jayakumar, the niece and nephew of J Jayalalithaa respectively, within three weeks.

The AIADMK government enacted legislation in 2020 establishing a foundation for the bungalow’s upkeep and turning it into a memorial. It maintained the property was acquired for Rs 67.9 crore. Jayalalithaa lived in the house purchased in the 1960s until her death in December 2016. The court also questioned why should there be two memorials for the former CM. The petitioners had argued that the property was acquired in a hasty manner without receiving consent from family members. In May 2020, a division bench of the high court had declared the duo as legal heirs to Jayalalithaa, who can inherit the former AIADMK supremo's properties. The court had in January this year barred the state government from throwing open the Poes Garden memorial to the public. In May this year, the HC had also asked the state government to consider designating the property as the official residence-cum-office of the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

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