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‘Govt Wants Treasures From Veda Nilayam,’ Jaya’s Niece Alleges

In her petition filed with the Madras HC, Deepa stated why she is against the government taking over her residence.

5 min read
‘Govt Wants Treasures From Veda Nilayam,’ Jaya’s Niece Alleges

J Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa has accused the government of Tamil Nadu of trying to make a scandal out of her aunt’s Poes Garden property and reap political benefits out of the takeover. She has also accused the government of trying to take over valuable assets including jewellery that were owned by their ancestor who used to work for the king of Mysore.

In her petition filed with the Madras high court on Friday, J Deepa detailed her concerns and rights over her aunt’s property Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden, Chennai and why she is against the state government’s plan to take over the residence.

In May 2020, the Madras High Court had declared that J Deepa and her brother J Deepak are the legal heirs of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa. Around two months after the declaration, the state government deposited Rs 67.9 crore in a city civil court as compensation to take possession of Veda Nilayam. The amount included fair compensation to the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa and Rs 36.9 crore towards settlement of pending Income Tax and Wealth Tax dues.


Opposing the government’s plan to take over the property, J Deepak had petitioned the high court asking the keys to the property be handed over to him as he is one of the legal heirs of the owner. Now J Deepa has also knocked the doors of the court against the acquisition of the Poes Garden residence by the state government.

'Movable Assets Inside'

In her petition, she stated that the property has several movable assets inside and that she had requested the District Collector and the Land Acquisition Officer in July 2020 to allow her, her husband and her legal representatives to take stock of the assets inside the premises so that a record of it can be submitted to the court.

“I submit that on 29.06.2020 this Hon’ble Court has appointed me as the one of the Administrator and I have given undertaking before this (court) to administer the same within six months and make a true inventory of the properties and the credits and to exhibit the same before the Court and render true account of the estate of Selvi J Jayalalithaa. It is just and necessary for me to take the inventory as per the directions of this Hon’ble Court within six months and file and render a true account within one year,” the petition stated.


‘TN Government Has No Right on Movable Assets’

J Deepa also accused the government of Tamil Nadu of trying to take illegal possession of the movable assets inside the Poes Garden residence, knowing that they are of high value.

She said that there are expensive jewellery and other precious metals which were handed over to her aunt J Jayalalithaa ancestrally. “I submit that our family has a history in “Veda Nilayam”, we have several treasures from our forefathers. We have metal treasures like gold, silver, copper, platinum, diamonds and various precious metals. The antiques are of high value and heritage and were passed on to my aunt by our great grandfather who was a physician in the Royal palace of Mysore,” the petition stated.

She added that Jayalalithaa maintained these assets with care and that those are very valuable for them as a family, since it has been handed over across generations. Slamming the state government of taking custody of these precious items under the guise of taking over the property, Deepa said that under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the government had no right over the personal belongings of the owner of the property. She added that as the legal heir, she and her family are entitled to the belongings.

“It is a sheer shame on the part of 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,” the petition added.


‘Government Trying to Make a Scandal’

Deepa further alleged that the government of Tamil Nadu is trying to make a scandal out of the takeover and make money out of the belongings inside the house.

“The ideology of extracting the movables from our family property is nothing but to make money out of precious treasures which are left by our ancestors. The State Government is going to make a big scandal out of our property and indulge in spoiling the reputation of my aunt Late Selvi J.Jayalalithaa..,” the petition alleged.

She also referred to the murder in Jayalalithaa’s estate in Kodanadu and pointed out that there were several reports that accused Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to be the one behind the murder.

“It was an act of crime intended to destroy documents and important papers that could have been kept there by my aunt. This murder took place under the Edapadi K. Palanisamy Government’s nose and it was also claimed by several sources that the murder mystery of Kodanadu was carried out under the instructions of Edapadi K. Palanisamy. Thus, I fear the exhibition of valuable jewelry in the memorial could as well lead to State sponsored day light robbery or other such crimes which will incur heavy losses to the property or cause damage to Veda Nilayam (sic),” the petition said.


Acquisition Is Purely for Political Benefits: Deepa

In her petition, Deepa also said that there is already a memorial for Jayalalithaa under construction on the Marina Beach, Chennai and hence the conversion of Veda Nilayam into a memorial was not necessary at all. She accused the state government of plotting the acquisition in the last few months of their rule ‘purely for the political benefits in the upcoming elections’.

“The state government instead of completing the construction of memorial at Marina, they are wickedly trying to acquire our ancestral property and convert it as memorial...and that is the reason they are galloping to towards their few months rule to acquire the property. This acquisition proceedings of the state government is made purely for the political benefits in the upcoming elections,” stated the petition.

She further denied the government of Tamil Nadu’s claims that the conversion of Veda Nilayam into a memorial is a wish of the people of the state and said that there is no evidence to back this statement.

Adding that the claim was first made in public by O Panneerselvam, Deepa said that he made the statement only for his political merits. She also pointed out that it was after the merger of the two warring factions of the AIADMK -- one led by Edappadi K Palaniswami and the other one led by O Panneerselvam -- that the chief minister announced the motive to convert the property into a memorial.


(The article was originally published in The News Minute and has been reposed with permission.)

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