CHENNAI: A division bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed the AIADMK and former Law Minister CV Shanmugam to file appeals against a single judge’s order quashing the proceedings for acquisition of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence Veda Nilayam and converting it into a memorial for public purpose.
The bench consisting of justices Paresh Upadhyay and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup granted leave for both AIADMK and CV Shanmugam to file appeals.
“... this court finds that AIADMK cannot be said to be a person concerned with the memorial of late J Jayalalithaa. This leave needs to be granted,” the bench said in the order.
While allowing these petitions, it is also needs to be noted the proceedings which was a subject matter before the single judge cannot be said to be not known to the present applicants. The circumstances for not approaching this court at the relevant time and further approaching this court now is also a factor, which may be gone into if required while hearing the appeals, it said.
Appearing for AIADMK and Shanmugam, senior counsel AL Somayaji said that petitioner are protégés of the late leader who was popular for her social welfare schemes and initiatives for bringing in agricultural and industrial growth.
Quoting a Bombay High Court order, he said bonafide or precise connection (with the leader) is enough for moving the appeal and noted that since the present government did not go for appealing against the single judge’s order, AIADMK and Shanmugam are doing it.
The counsel, appearing for J Deepak, one of the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, contended that AIADMK has no locus standi in the matter and the leave applications have become infructuous since keys of Veda Nilayam were handed to the legal heirs on Friday and entire procedures pursuant to the single judge’s order were completed.
It may be noted that Justice N Seshasayee, in his order dated November, 24, 2021, quashed the proceedings of the Revenue Department in acquiring Veda Nilayam located at Poes Garden, where Jayalalithaa was staying for more than four decades, in order to convert into a memorial for public purposes.
Besides questioning the rationale behind raising a second memorial, at Veda Nilayam, apart from the one constructed on Marina Beach, the judge flayed then AIADMK government for treating the property as if it had no owners.