The Madras High Court today said the government can go ahead with constructing a memorial for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Marina beach. When a petition against the memorial came up for hearing, the court observed that Jayalalithaa can not be considered as a convict, since she died before the judgement was delivered in the disproportionate assets case.
They however said that in future, if the government takes any policy decisions, they would benefit the people. A division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam said Jayalalithaa could not be termed as a convict as the Supreme Court had abated her sentencing in a disproportionate assets case in view of her death. Last year, the Tamil Nadu government informed the High Court that the decision to construct a memorial for 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. The counter also referred to similar memorials built by the government for former Chief Ministers of the state. Pointing out to the averments by the petitioner that Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate wealth case, it submitted that the Supreme Court in its February 14, 2017 judgement had abated charges against her as she had died during the pendency of the appeal against her acquittal.