Building of Jaya memorial a policy decision: TN govt to HC

Chennai: The Tamilnadu government Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that the decision to construct a memorial for late chief minister Jayalalithaa was a policy decision and there was no conviction against her as of date.

In a counter affidavit to a petition opposing the memorial on various grounds, the Principal Tamil Development and Information Secretary said the government was well within its powers to build the memorial.

Making it clear that the state Coastal Zone Management Authority had given its clearance and the requisite planning and building permissions had been obtained from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and the city corporation, the counter urged the court to dismiss the petition filed by M L Ravi, the president of Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi.

Referring to the averments by the petitioner that Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate wealth case, it submitted that the Supreme Court in its 14 February 2017 judgement had abated charges against her as she had died during the pendency of the appeal against her acquittal.

The counter also referred to similar memorials built by the government for former chief ministers of the state. It is to come up at the Marina Beach within the existing memorial for late chief minister and Jayalalithaa’s mentor M G Ramachandran. Jayalalithaa died on 5 December 2016 after prolonged illness.