CHENNAI: Fulfilling its ambition to acquire the land and building properties of Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden, the official residence of former Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa, the state government has deposited Rs. 67.9 crore in the Principal Sessions Court of the City Civil Court on the Madras High Court premises on Saturday.
Of the amount, Rs 36.9 crore would go to the Income Tax department as Jayalalithaa owed the amount towards income tax and wealth tax arrears and penalties.
The balance amount of Rs 31 crore would have to be shared between Deepa and Deepak, who are Jayalalithaa's brother Jayaraman's daughter and son respectively. The duo had been declared as the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa under Sec. 15(1)(d) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 by a division bench of the Madras HIgh Court, led by Justice N Kirubakaran, in the last week of May this year.
The compensation is determined based on the procedures laid down in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the award said. The acquisition award was pronounced by S Lakshmi, Land Acquisition Officer (LAO)/Revenue Divisional Officer, South Chennai, on July 22. She claimed that all procedures had been strictly followed as per the relevant Acts and Rules, before acquiring the land and buildings.
The officer had placed on record that there were conflicting claims over payment of compensation between the parties (Deepak and Deepa) and there was no claim for apportionment of the compensation from the duo. Only the IT department has claimed its due of a little over Rs 31 crore, which has to be settled first. "Therefore, the matter is referred to the Principal Sessions Judge in the City Civil Court for adjudication under the Act," the award said.
The award made it clear that the buildings, which are situated on a vast land measuring 24,322 sq.ft. (0.22.60 hectares), are now vested with the state government and they are free from all encumbrances.
The award said that Veda Nilayam has to be acquired by the government for the purpose of converting it into a memorial under the 2013 Act. 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 is also a policy decision of the government portraying the glory of an iconic leader, the award added.