(G.N.S) Dt. 04
The state government has set a deadline of four months to acquire Veda Nilayam, former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence in the tony Poes Garden area. The revenue department will soon unseal two rooms, presumably occupied by V K Sasikala, Jayalalithaa’s aide, with the help of income tax department officials to assess the value of the bungalow that was a political landmark. The market value of the house located on a 10-ground plot was 72.09 crore as per Jayalalithaa’s affidavit filed in the 2016 assembly election. Chennai collector V Anbuselvan and his team of officials, along with officers of the survey, public works and income tax departments had conducted an inspection last week and measured the property except the sealed rooms. “The I-T department had asked for more time to open these rooms, but now they have agreed to open them so that we could assess the value of the property.”
I-T waits for Sasi niece’s return to unseal rooms
Purchased by Jayalalithaa’s mother, Veda alias Sandhya in July 1967, the building is spread over 21,662 sq ft. “The two rooms were sealed for our purpose. It is not that we have taken control of it. Revenue department is free to do whatever they want. It will not affect ownership, possession or control. It is a normal legal process, we do not seal the premises indefinitely,” said a senior I-T official, seeking anonymity. The department could not unseal the two rooms last week as Shakeela, Sasikala’s niece and Ilavarasi Jayaraman’s daughter, who has been made a party during the previous search, was not in town.
The department found that Shakeela was in possession of the keys of the late chief minister’s residence during its previous search.
The plan is to complete the entire process of land acquisition in four months under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act. “But it does not mean that the memorial will start functioning after four months,” Anbuselvan said. As per the acquisition law, the department will do a social impact assessment study with the help of a third party, if any, to assess the public purpose, estimation of affected families, extent of land, public and private, likely to be affected by the proposed acquisition, and thereafter a public hearing will be held to get claims and objections, after due publicity.
(G.N.S) Dt. 04