Veda Nilayam, the residence of late chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa at Poes Garden in Chennai, was symbolically converted into a memorial by the state government on Thursday.
In a simple ceremony, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edapadi Palaniswami inaugurated the memorial a day after the Madras high court directed the government to not let any people inside, to open only the main gates of the property and not the doors to the house citing pending inventory work.
The keys to the memorial were to be handed over to the court after the ceremony, which was also attended by deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The memorial was inaugurated a day after Jayalalithaa’s close confidante VK Sasikala was freed from a Bengaluru jail after four years of imprisonment in Rs 66-crore disproportionate assets case. Jayalalithaa was the prime accused in the case.
Jayalalithaa’s heirs J Deepa and J Deepak had challenged the acquisition of the Poes Garden residence to convert it as a memorial. Passing the interim orders on the matter, Justice N Seshasayee had said, “Once the function is over, the district collector or an official who has the custody of the keys of the entire premises shall hand over the same to the registrar general of this court, since the valuable movables of Jayalalithaa to which the petitioners are now the heirs, must be valued.”
The Tamil Nadu government had moved the Madras High Court against the single bench’s order on the memorial inauguration. The court is expected to take up the matter on Friday.
The court had also said that the state government “should have refrained from opening the memorial” until all the petitions were disposed of. The verdict also said, “Holding the function on January 28 will not in any way confer any right to the government, nor deprive the petitioners of their right in the subject matter of the writ petitions.”
Meanwhile, CM Palaniswami also opened a Rs 79-crore phoenix-shaped memorial along the Marina beach where Jayalalithaa was buried.