Madras HC declares Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew legal heirs

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A division bench declared Deepa and Deepak as Class II legal heirs. This allows the duo to claim rights over the property, as per the Hindu Succession Act 1956, as there are no Class I or direct heirs.

The Tamil Nadu AIADMK government’s attempt to convert former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's Veda Nilayam residence in Chennai into a memorial has suffered a huge setback with the Madras high court pronouncing her nephew J Deepak and niece J Deepa as her legal heirs.

A division bench of the court on Wednesday declared them as Class II legal heirs. This allows Deepa and Deepak to claim rights over the property, as per the Hindu Succession Act 1956, as there are no Class I or direct heirs.

The court directed the Tamil Nadu government to issue notice to the legal heirs and hear them out during the acquisition proceedings and determine the compensation payable to both Deep and Deepak for acquiring the properties, said a News Minute report.

The order came in an appeal filed by AIADMK members K Pughazhenthi and P Janakiraman challenging a single judge’s order of the same court. The two had sought the court to grant Letters of Administration without Will for Administration of properties and credits belonging to Jayalalithaa as she had no legal heir at the time of her death.

The government has been trying to expedite the process for converting Vedanilayam into a memorial. On May 22, Governor Banwarilal Purohit promulgated an ordinance to help the state government take temporary possession of the property. The ordinance also provided for the establishment of the 'Puratchi Thalaivi Dr J Jayalalithaa Memorial Foundation' for making long term arrangements for the process of conversion.

The high court, however, stated that the state government should consider the suggestion that Veda Nilayam be made as “Official Residence-cum-Office of the Chief Minister of the State”, after acquiring the property as per law which involves issuing notice and hearing objections from.Deepa and Deepak.

The court also suggested that Deepa and Deepak could liquidate any one of the properties of the deceased Chief Minister and deposit the amount in a fixed deposit in any one of the nationalised banks. The court has directed them to use this money to pay for security that the state government has been ordered to provide.

The court states that they will require security as they have now been declared legal heirs of assets worth over Rs.1000 crore, the News Minute report said.

Image Credit: Outlook

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