Madras High Court allows constructing memorial for Jayalalithaa at Marina

Chennai: The Madras High Court has cleared the construction of a memorial for late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the Marina.

Passing orders on a petition filed by advocate M L Ravi, the Justice Sathyanarayana and Justice Rajamanickam bench today said since Jayalalithaa was not sentenced, she was not an accused who had been punished.

Jayalalithaa had passed away in December 2016 before the sentence was pronounced in the disproportionate assets case in which she was found guilty.

The court today held that she cannot be treated as an accused who had been sentenced. The argument of Ravi was that Jayalalithaa was an accused and it would set a bad precedent if a memorial was set up for an accused. He also said the coastal regulation rules were being flouted in building the memorial on the coastline.

The government counter said the case against the AIADMK supremo abated as she passed away during its pendency. Also, it argued that it had secured necessary permission from the coastal zone regulation authority and Chennai Corporation for setting up the memorial on the sands of the Marina.

The court upheld these arguments and delivered the verdict today. It said setting up a memorial for Jayalalithaa was a government decision and it cannot interfere with it.

The judges observed that it was in the fitness of things for a government to set up memorials and name places after leaders to perpetuate their memory and their good deeds.

NT Bureau