The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a public interest litigation petition filed by activist ‘Traffic’ K.R. Ramaswamy, 87, against the State government’s move to acquire former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden and convert it into a memorial.
Justices Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar passed the order after finding that the activist had not challenged a recent ordinance promulgated by the government for acquiring the property and instead sought for a direction to the government to consider a representation made by him.
They told the petitioner’s counsel Harihara Rajan that since an ordinance had been promulgated for the acquisition proceedings, it may have to be challenged in the manner known to law. After the counsel chose to withdraw the case, the judges gave liberty to the activist to file a fresh petition.
At the instance of Additional Advocate General S.R. Rajagopal, the judges gave liberty to the State government too to raise preliminary objections as and when a fresh case was filed since it was the stand of the AAG that a similar case filed by the activist was already dismissed by the court.
It was pointed out to the court that though the activist was objecting to use of public money for acquisition and conversion of the house into a memorial on the sole ground that Jayalalithaa was a “convict,” the High Court had, in January 2019, categorically held that she could not be described so.