Madras HC quashes Jayalalithaa’s home acquisition, asks if one memorial not enough | Chennai News – Times of India

CHENNAI: Questioning the ‘public cause’ claim of the erstwhile AIADMK government and unjustifiable procedural lapses in acquiring former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s house at Poes Garden to convert it into a memorial, the Madras high court quashed the decision on Wednesday.
Justice N Seshasayee, deprecating the attempt to establish another memorial when 80 crore had been already spent in building a memorial for Jayalalithaa on the Marina, asked: “Is it not one memorial too many? What is the inspirational story that ‘Veda Nilayam’ may provide which the Marina memorial does not?”
‘Court won’t remain insensitive’
The judge then directed the Chennai collector to hand over the keys of Veda Nilayam to Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew J Deepak, who are her sole legal heirs, within three weeks.
As to the claim made by the income tax department over the properties of Jayalalithaa for recovery of pending tax dues to the tune of 37.54 crore, Justice Seshasayee said: “The department is free to proceed for recovering any arrears of tax payable by Jayalalithaa which is chargeable on her estate as per law.”
“In a state where the substantial number of its populace are struggling for a dignified life under the Constitution…the court may not remain insensitive and play Dhridarashtra when the government decides to divert crores of public money mindlessly,” the judge asserted.
In his 123-page order, Justice Seshasayee categorically dismissed the contention of the then state government that the conversion of the Poes Garden property into a memorial constituted public purpose.
“India of today is not the Raj of the yesteryear for its administrators to bask under a fallacy that the wealth of the state is the wealth of the ruler. No, it is the wealth of the ruled – The People. It is time that the governments have accustomed themselves to this constitutional reality,” Justice Sesashayee said.


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