HC verdict today on plea of Jaya’s nephew on her properties

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The Madras High Court is all set to deliver its judgment on Wednesday on an application made by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s nephew J. Deepak to permit him and his sister J. Deepa to administer the properties left behind by their aunt.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose would pronounce their verdict through videoconferencing. The judgment would impact an ordinance promulgated by the State government last week to acquire Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence and convert it into a memorial.

The judges would also be passing orders on yet another contesting application filed by two AIADMK functionaries K. Pugazhenthi and P. Janakiraman for administration of the properties through the Administrator General and Official Trustee of Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016, and in 2017, it was the two AIADMK functionaries who approached the court first seeking a Letter of Administration in their favour. They later amended their prayer seeking a direction to the Administrator General.

A single judge of the High Court rejected their plea on January 9, 2018 and hence they preferred an appeal before the Division Bench. In the meantime, Mr. Deepak too filed an application, through his counsel S.L. Sudarsanam, and made his sister J. Deepa, a respondent.

Later both the cases were clubbed and heard by the Division Bench, led by Justice Kirubakaran, who wanted to know how many properties of Jayalalithaa had been attached by the Income Tax department, the Directorate of Enforcement and others. A.P. Srinivas, senior panel counsel for I-T department, told the court that many properties, including Veda Nilayam, her Poes Garden residence, were under attachment for non-payment of tax dues and that the information had been communicated even to the Registration department.

After recording the submission, the judges had observed that though Mr. Deepak and Ms. Deepa were the only Class II legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, a portion of her properties should certainly be used for public welfare activities since she was a public figure.

They recalled that her mentor M.G. Ramachandran, also a former Chief Minister of the State, had left behind his properties for the welfare of the visually challenged and hence it would only be appropriate to utilise her wealth too for similar measures.

Mr. Sudarsanam accepted the suggestion made by the court and told the judges that the siblings were also thinking of creating a trust named after their aunt to help the needy and the poor.

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