Jayalalithaa is a 'convict', govt can't build a memorial: Traffic Ramaswamy moves HC

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Social activist Traffic Ramaswamy on Thursday filed a petition in the Madras High Court against conversion of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence into her memorial.

File photo of Traffic Ramaswamy

Ramaswamy wanted the court to restrain the state government from acquiring and converting the Poes Garden residence in Chennai as a memorial using public funds, said a TOI report.

The plea claims that Jayalalithaa was a convict and hence the government should not build a memorial dedicated to her, said the report. The plea is likely to be heard tomorrow.

Several officials, including Chennai district collector, revenue divisional officer, and a surveillance officer, on December 30, reviewed former Poes Garden, which is set to become Jayalalithaa's memorial.

In August, state security forces took control of the Poes Garden, hours after chief minister Edapaddi Palanisamy announced that the bungalow will be converted into a public memorial in her honour.

The bungalow, which is valued at nearly Rs 90 crore as on date, was purchased by Jayalalithaa's mother Sandhya for a mere Rs 1.32 lakh in 1967 when both were in the film world.

Jayalaithaa's nephews Deepa and Deepak had earlier insisted that they are the legal heirs to the property. Deepak had earlier said that the government cannot unilaterally convert a private home into state property. Deepa, on her part, asserted that she would take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court.

In February, O Panneerselvam, then acting chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has launched a signature campaign to turn Jayalalithaa's residence into a memorial.

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