The Madras High Court on November 24 set aside an order of the previous AIADMK regime to convert late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's residence, 'Veda Nilayam' as a memorial.
The property's ownership is to be transferred to Jayalalithaa's niece J Deepa Jayakumar and her brother J Deepak, who had challenged the AIADMK's order by filing a writ petition. The property is located at the Poes Garden locality in Chennai.
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. Reportedly, it was bought by Jayalalithaa's mother in the late 1960's and it was home to the late chief minister for over three decades where several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called on her.
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.(With inputs from PTI)