Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday inaugurated former CM J Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence ‘Veda Nilayam’ as a memorial after the Madras High Court gave its nod for the ceremony. The memorial will not be thrown open for the public, as per the order of the court.
The keys to the memorial will be handed over to the court after the ceremony, which was also attended by deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The memorial was inaugurated a day after Jayalalithaa's close confidante VK Sasikala was freed from a Bengaluru jail after four years of imprisonment in Rs 66-crore disproportionate assets case. Jayalalithaa was the prime accused in the case.
Jayalalithaa’s heirs J Deepa and J Deepak had challenged the acquisition of the Poes Garden residence to convert it as a memorial. Passing the interim orders on the matter, Justice N Seshasayee had said, “Once the function is over, the district collector or an official who has the custody of the keys of the entire premises shall hand over the same to the registrar general of this court, since the valuable movables of Jayalalithaa to which the petitioners are now the heirs, must be valued.”
The Tamil Nadu government had moved the Madras High Court against the single bench’s order on the memorial inauguration. The court is expected to take up the matter on Friday.
The court had also said that the state government “should have refrained from opening the memorial” until all the petitions were disposed of. The verdict also said, “Holding the function on January 28 will not in any way confer any right to the government, nor deprive the petitioners of their right in the subject matter of the writ petitions.”
“The main gate to the premises of Veda Nilayam alone can be opened during the function. The building shall not be opened at any time, even during the function, since taking the inventory of the movables and their valuation is not yet complete,” the court had ordered, adding that the right, title and the interest of the heirs of the late chief minister “cannot be marginalized”.
Meanwhile, CM Palaniswami opened a Rs 79-crore phoenix-shaped memorial along the Marina beach where Jayalalithaa was buried on Thursday.