The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation while hearing a plea moved by J Deepak, nephew of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, challenging the TN Puratchi Thalaivi Dr J Jayalalithaa Memorial Foundation Bill of 2020, based on which the foundation headed by the Chief Minister and Deputy CM was created to take care of the memorial.
While making it known that the court is aware of its limited jurisdiction in the issue raised, the Chief Justice observed, “How long are you going to continue building memorials? You have almost exhausted Marina beach and are threatening to take the rest of it.
“Propagating personality cult does not augur well for an elected government and the republic. It’s not in good taste,” the Chief Justice said. observing further: “There can be only one Gandhi, one Nehru and one Patel. You can’t go on extending it so much so that there will soon be memorials for deputy ministers.”
The Chief Justice also pointed out that there are several judges who make brilliant contributions. “What will happen if all the court space is used for installing their statues. Already there are so many portraits here. After some years, there will be hardly any space for any more portraits,” the CJ remarked.
However, based on several related petitions regarding the acquisition of Veda Nilayam building pending before a division bench and a single bench, the Chief Justice directed the government not to delay the proceedings in those cases as the outcome could have a bearing on the present plea challenging the bill. The case has been adjourned by four weeks.