Jayalalithaa's Niece, Nephew Legal Heirs To All Her Wealth: High Court To Tamil Nadu Government
The Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to reconsider its decision to convert late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's residence in Chennai into a memorial and declared her niece and nephew as the legal heirs of her property worth several crores.
A division bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose also suggested that 'Veda Nilayam', located in the upmarket Poes Garden, be converted into the official residence of the Chief Minister of the state, while a portion of the property can be a memorial if needed.
The court order came days after Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit issued an ordinance to allow the state government take temporary possession of 'Veda Nilayam' and set up a foundation under Chief Minister K Palaniswami for the purpose of converting it into a memorial, allowing the petition by Jayalalithaa's nephew and niece - Deepak and Deepa, respectively, seeking letters of administration to administer her properties, the bench said, "Deepak and Deepa are second class legal heirs of the late Chief Minister, being the son and daughter of her late brother Jayakumar."
It also made it clear that the two were entitled for administration in respect of the estate held individually by the late Jayalalithaa or in the names of firms or companies and the credits of the former AIADMK chief.
Deepak and Deepa shall allot a few properties according to their discretion and create a registered public trust in the name of their late aunt for the purpose of doing social service within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of the order copy.
The court then posted the matter for reporting compliance with regard to creation of a trust after eight weeks.
The bench dismissed another plea moved by AIADMK cadre K Pugalenthi seeking to appoint him as administrator of the properties of the late chief minister.
In August last, the court, while reserving the orders had sought to know why a portion of Jayalalithaa's properties should not be allotted for welfare of the public, as she was the leader who always said she was made by the people and worked for the people.
The petitioners submitted they had no objection in doing so, since it was their aunt's wish.
"But as the only legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, we are entitled to all her properties. We have plans to establish a trust in her name and do charity to the people through it," they stated in the petition.