PIL Against Jaya Memorial On Marina Beach
Chennai: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Tamil Nadu High Court on Monday seeking that it put a hold construction of a memorial for late TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the Marina Beach in Chennai.
The petitioner, Duraiswamy, contended that Jayalalithaa had been sentenced by a Special Court to four-year jail term and fine of Rs. 100 crore in a disproportionate assets case. Though the Karnataka High Court later ruled her as innocent, the issue went to Supreme Court following an appeal by the Karnataka Government and DMK, the main Opposition in Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court has upheld the judgement of the Special Court.
As Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, the other accused in the disproportionate case, Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran are now serving a jail sentence in Karnataka. If a memorial is built for Jayalalithaa despite her conviction in the disproportionate assets case, it will remain as a symbol of her crime, the petitioner pointed out.
The PIL remarked that memorials for Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and others who fought for freedom were okay, like those for Periyar, Kamaraj Nadar and Annadurai, who strove for the welfare of people in Tamil Nadu. But, Jayalalithaa doesn’t come under this category. She had gone to jail for corruption and not for fighting on behalf of the people. As such, no memorial must be built for her, the petitioner contended, pointing out that the memorial was also against the coastal rules and environment.
Duraiswamy sought a direction from Tamil Nadu High Court imposing a ban on Jaya’s memorial. Even her mortal remains buried beside the tomb of MGR should be removed from the Marina Beach, he maintained.
Responding to the PIL, Justices Satyanarayanan and Seshasai of the High Court directed Tamil Nadu Government, Chennai Corporation, CMDA and Climate and Environment Department to file their answers by August 18, 2017.
The Environment Department has already issued prohibitory orders against building any structures within a distance of 500 square feet from the beach.
It may be recalled that TN Chief Minister E Palanisamy had on 28th of last month announced that the government will be building a Manimandapam near late Jayalalithaa’s tomb.