No legal hurdles in Tamil Nadu acquiring Jaya
Legal hurdles cannot come in the way of Tamil Nadu government acquiring former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s residence — Veda Nilayam — at Poes Garden to be converted into a memorial, as it is a policy decision of the government, Chennai district collector V Anbuselvan has said.
Asked about related cases pending in courts, Anbuselvan told TOI that the issue of legal heir could not stall the acquisition. “There is no direct legal heir for the former chief minister and hence, there is no legal heir as far as this property is concerned. If there are claimants for legal heirship, the issue has to be dealt in a court of law. If proved, they will be eligible only for compensation under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, but they cannot stop the acquisition as it is a policy decision of the government to convert the residence of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa into a memorial,” he said.
In August last year, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced his government’s intention to convert Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden into a memorial. However, opposing the government’s decision, Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa moved the high court which disposed the plea on October 23, 2017 with a direction to the state government to take a decision on her representation within four months. While the government set the ball rolling for acquisition by fixing a deadline of four months for completing the process, social activist Traffic Ramaswamy moved the Madras high court last week seeking to stop the acquisition using public funds.
Anbuselvan said due process under the Land Acquisition Act, including social impact assessment, would be carried out for taking over Veda Nilayam. “Since the acquisition involves just one property, there will be no issues. That’s why four months has been set as a deadline for acquisition process,” he added.