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The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside the previous AIADMK government's decision to convert former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's Veda Nilayam house at Poes Garden into a memorial. 

The takeover was challenged by Jayalalithaa's legal heirs – Deepa and Deepak – who would be given the keys of the property back, as per the order passed by Justice N Seshasayee.

The court also permitted the Income Tax department to recover dues running to several crores of rupees from the petitioners.

The residential building, spread over 24,322 square feet, in the upscale locality comprises an office room, library, waiting room for guests and conference hall.

It was reportedly bought by Jayalalithaa's mother in the late 1960s and was home to the late chief minister for over three decades where several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had called on her.

On 17 August 2017 then Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced Veda Nilayam would be converted into a memorial and opened to the 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.

The HC had in January this year allowed the government to go ahead with the opening ceremony of the building as a memorial but ordered that it shall not be thrown open to the public.

“This case spotlights that the challenge involved here is not only confined to the correctness or the legality of the acquisition of the immovable property in Veda Nilayam, but to the incomplete process of acquisition of the movables also," the court had said. 

Following this, Veda Nilayam was declared open as a memorial by Palaniswami in a simple function where he unveiled a plaque and paid floral tributes to a portrait of Jayalalithaa.

 

 

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