Chennai: The Madras High Court has suggested that the residence of the former chief minister and AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa be converted into the official residence-cum-office of the Tamil Nadu chief minister instead of turning the entire home into a memorial, saying that the utilisation of public money for acquiring private properties for memorials "may not have an end."
A portion of Poes Garden alone could be converted into a memorial, the judges said.
"The state government shall consider the suggestion of this Court to avoid making Poes Garden property 'VEDA NILAYAM' as 'memorial' by acquiring the property, as it would incur huge expenses to the public exchequer. The state government shall consider the suggestion that Poes Garden property 'VEDA NILAYAM' be made as 'Official Residences-cum-Office of the Chief Minister of the State', after acquiring the property as per law, after issuing notice and hearing the second and third respondents viz, J Deepa and J Deepak," the order stated.
The Bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose, which is hearing the case, adjourned it by eight weeks and the court sought the response of the Tamil Nadu government.
The judges also suggested that the government listen to the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa before acquiring the property of the former chief minister and pay compensation. The court observed that Deepak and Deepa Jayakumar are class II legal heirs of Jayalalithaa and they are entitled to letters of administration.
Tamil Nadu government had last week promulgated an ordinance to temporarily take possession of Jaya's Poes Garden residence. Following this, Jaya's niece and nephew moved the court seeking grant of letter of administration to them to administer the properties left behind by their aunt.