If this order is executed, apart from the legal heirs - niece and nephew of the late CM, the I-T Department would walk away with Rs 36.8 crore as income tax, wealth tax, penalties, and interest.
The land acquisition award pronounced by S Lakshmi, Land Acquisition Officer (LAO)/ Revenue Divisional Officer, South Chennai, on Wednesday stated that Veda Nilayam, situated on an area of 0.55 acre of land, (around 10 grounds) has to be acquired by the government for the purpose of converting it into a memorial under the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.
The order states that during enquiry, K Madhavan, (husband of legal heir J Deepa,) SL Sudarsanam (counsel for legal heir J Deepak) and Ajay Robin Singh, Deputy Commissioner of I-T appeared before the LAO.
The Officer observed that the objections raised by the legal heirs were routine and the acquisition was for the conversion of Veda Nilayam to a memorial. This would serve a public purpose and it also is a policy decision of the government portraying the glory of an iconic leader. The award said Rs 67.9 crore should be deposited in the city civil court account and legal heirs can approach the court for compensation.
In May this year, the Madras HC had sought the State to avoid turning the Poes Garden property into a memorial as it would incur huge expenses to the exchequer.