The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a case filed by social activist ‘Traffic’ KR Ramaswamy against the government’s decision to convert late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial.
The PIL called Jaya’s Veda Nilayam residence as a scene of crime, pointing out that as per the Supreme Court a portion of the property was acquired during the misappropriation period (1991-96), which led to her conviction.
The Income Tax department, too, had raided the property after Jaya’s death and portions of it remained under attachment temporarily owing to the tax dues, Ramaswamy added.
He added that the decision to convert the property into a memorial evoked strong criticisms from the neighbours, with 108 of them making representations to the State against the decision during a public hearing. As the property is the subject matter of many legal and quasi legal proceedings, including a probe by a commission of inquiry by a former High Court judge into Jaya’s death, the government cannot convert the residence into a memorial by spending public money, the social activist argued.