Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa has moved Madras High Court claiming that the State government’s move to acquire her aunt’s Poes Garden residence will

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TAMIL NADU
Acquiring Veda Nilayam will hamper inquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death, claims Deepa
Veda Nilayam, the residence of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu
Veda Nilayam, the residence of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu
Legal Correspondent
CHENNAI 01 AUGUST 2020 13:05 IST
UPDATED: 01 AUGUST 2020 13:05 IST

Tells HC a heist like the one that took place in Kodanad might happen in Poes Garden too
Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa has moved Madras High Court claiming that the State government’s move to acquire her aunt’s Poes Garden residence will hamper the Justice A. Arumughaswamy Commission of inquiry into her death since it was from that bungalow she was shifted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22, 2016.

In an affidavit filed in support of her writ petition listed for admission before Justice N. Anand Venkatesh on Monday, Ms. Deepa, through her counsel G.J. Baskar Narayan, said: “The acquisition proceeding has to be stopped immediately, otherwise the evidence required by the honourable Justice Arumughaswamy Commission may be destroyed.”

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She contended that the State government cannot take two stands. “On one side a Commission was appointed and on the other side, acquisition proceedings are taking place. If the latter persists, the former will fail. The attitude of the State government will definitely affect the course of such inquiry.” She also questioned the hurry with which the government was proceeding.

The petitioner said that the State government was keen on proceeding with acquisition proceedings even when the entire world had been crippled due to the pandemic COVID-19. Pointing out that the government had decided to acquire even the immovable properties in the bungalow, she said her ancestral “treasures” too were still there in the residence.

She said that her great grandfather was a physician in the Royal Palace of Mysore and he had left behind many antiques, precious gems and jewellery with her grandmother Sandhya who, in turn, had passed them on to Jayalalithaa. “The State government is going to make a big scandal out of our property and indulge in spoiling the reputation of my aunt,” she added.

If those valuables were displayed for public view after converting the residence into a memorial, the petitioner feared that there could be a “State sponsored” robbery as it had reportedly taken place in the Kodanad Estate, also owned by her aunt, in 2017.

Pointing out that Veda Nilayam was purchased by her paternal grandmother and aunt in 1972, Ms. Deepa said that her father had got married in the same year and resided along with Jayalalithaa as a joint family in the bungalow for quite some time. The petitioner also said that she and her brother J. Deepak also spent their childhood in that residence.

Further, citing privacy as the reason for her father moving out of the residence along with his wife and children, she said: “In 1991, after my aunt became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, she invited our family, myself, my brother Deepak, my father Jayakumar and my mother Vijayalakshmi regularly, almost three times a week, for spending time together as a family.”

Since a Division Bench comprising Justices N. Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose of the High Court had already declared her and her brother as the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, she insisted upon taking inventory of the assets left behind by her aunt and expressed her intention to do so with the assistance of her husband K. Madhavan and other legal representatives.

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