TN not keen on appeal- The New Indian Express

TN not keen on appeal- The New Indian Express, the vie

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government has informed the Madras High Court, that it does not want to pursue the dispute over the acquisition of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence Veda Nilayam, because of the High Court’s suggestions and orders against turning the house into a memorial.

Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram told this to a division bench consisting of Justices Paresh Updhyay and Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup on Monday when the appeals filed by AIADMK and former Law Minister CV Shanmugam, against quashing of the acquisition, came up for hearing.

A division bench had questioned the necessity to establish a second memorial while the first one is being established and suggested that only a part of Veda Nilayam could be converted into a memorial and the remaining portions could be turned into an official residence of the Chief Minister, Shanmugasundaram noted.

Moreover, a single judge, Justice N Seshasayee, in his verdict, had clearly disapproved of raising the second memorial. So, taking into account the orders of the court, Tamil Nadu government did not opt for appealing and the issue came to an end with handing over of the keys of Veda Nilayam to the legal heirs, he added.

Pointing out that the petitions filed by two AIADMK members seeking letter of administration (LOA) were dismissed by the High Court, the AG said another member of the party (Shanmugam) cannot re-litigate the same issue. Shanmugasundaram sought the court to dismiss the appeals.

Appearing for AIADMK and Shanmugam, senior counsel AL Somayaji said the single judge had committed legal flaws in his verdict. He stated that it is the Executive that decides which scheme deserves public funds and not the court.

Moreover, he said the judge had deviated from the pleadings in questioning and deciding on cost-effectiveness of raising the memorial (at Veda Nilayam) for a tall leader who had introduced path-breaking social welfare schemes.

Somayaji stated that two memorials for leaders is not a new phenomenon as late leaders Rajaji and Kamaraj have been honoured with two memorials in the city within a short distance. However, senior counsel ARL Sundaresan appearing for Jayalalithaa’s nephew J Deepak questioned the locus standi of AIADMK in preferring the appeals when the party had not impleaded in the writs challenging the acquisition proceedings. Sundaresan noted that the court can go into the decision of the Executive under Article 226 and the court’s power cannot be shut out.

Saying that there was procedural infirmity in the acquisition proceedings, senior counsel Sathish Parasaran, representing Deepa, recalled the entire proceedings were carried out in a hurry showing undue haste, eyeing the elections. After listening to the arguments, the judges reserved the orders.

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