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TN govt can’t acquire Jayalalitha’s assets, niece in HC

Chennai: Contending absence of legal powers for the government to acquire ancestral properties — immovable and movable — for memorial purposes as well as other aspects like procedural infirmities, J. Deepa, the niece of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa has moved the Madras High Court.

She has petitioned the court against the Tamil Nadu government’s move to acquire Veda Nilayam — the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa.

The High Court had recently held that Deepa and her brother J. Deepak are the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa in respect of the latter’s ancestral and self-acquired properties.

Deepa said the Poes Garden residence was purchased by her grandmother N.R. Sandhya alias Vedha Jayaraman in the year 1967. The residence was named as “Veda Nilayam” after her grandmother.

Deepa has also contended the acquisition of Veda Nilayam will hamper the proceedings of Justice Arumugaswamy Commission enquiring into the suspicious death of Jayalalithaa.

“The acquisition proceeding has to be stopped immediately otherwise the evidence required by Hon’ble Justice Arumugaswamy Commission may be destroyed. 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 later persist the former will fail. The attitude of the State Government will definitely affect course of any such enquiry,” Deepa said in her plea.

She also said the Tamil Nadu government instead of completing the construction of the memorial at Marina, is trying to acquire her ancestral property and convert it as a memorial.

“It is a sheer shame on the part of the state government by taking the personal belongings of a woman including her clothes and ornaments. It is unfair and indecent and harms the dignity of a woman. I cannot allow any forms of insult by such acts on my aunt as she is like a mother to me,” Deepa said in her petition.

Deepa said her family has a history in Veda Nilayam and have several treasures from our forefathers – metal treasures like gold, silver, copper, platinum, diamonds and various precious metals.

According to the Ordinance, a total of 32,721 moveable properties were found in Jayalalithaa’s residence that include 14 gold items weighing a total of 4.372 kg, 867 silver items weighing 601.424 kg, 11 televisions, 10 refrigerators, 38 air conditioners, 29 telephones/mobile phones, 653 documents like court papers, licences, and IT statements, furniture, mementos, kitchen utensils, dress materials, pooja items and others.

A devoted reader, Jayalalithaa also had 8,376 books as part of her movable properties.

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