Chennai, Aug 1 (PTI): Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's legal heir J Deepa has moved the Madras High Court, challenging the proposed acquisition of Veda Nilayam her late aunts Poes Garden residence by the Tamil Nadu government to convert it into a memorial.

The primary grounds of her challenge were that the Land Acquisition Act, 2013,does not empower the state government to acquire private land to convert it into a memorial and that it has been done even without conducting and publishing social impact assessment, which is mandatory under the act. Apart from this, the land acquisition officer who passed the July 22 order, was not a competent authority under the act, as it empowers only the District Collector to pass such orders, Deepa said.

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She further contended that the Land Acquisition Act does not provide for acquisition of movable properties in the residence like, gold,silver, jewelry and other precious items.

Hence she sought a direction from the court to the authorities to hand over the movable properties acquired from Veda Nilayam to her and grant an interim stay against the operation of the acquisition order, pending disposal of the petition.

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The plea filed in the high court registry, is likely to be taken up for hearing in the first week of August.

Deepa also alleged that the state government, under the guise of establishing a memorial to the late leader, has illegally taken possession of the movable and precious materials in the house.

Terming the move to convert Veda Nilayam into a memorial a scandal, she charged the Tamil Nadu government with trying to usurp the property and other precious materials in it.

Asserting that the acquisition and the announcement to create a memorial for Jayalalithaa by the government was done only with political agenda in view of the coming assembly election, Deepa said the state, by making public the list of precious materials available in the home, has made it vulnerable to robbery.

On the right of the income tax department over the compensation fixed by the state for pending tax dues of Jayalalithaa, Deepa sought an interim direction to restrain the department from withdrawing the compensation deposited with the jurisdictional civil court, pending disposal of the present plea.

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