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Tamil Nadu

Madras HC dismisses PIL, gives go-ahead for Jaya memorial

Chennai, Jan 23 : The Madras High Court on Wednesday gave its go ahead for constructing a memorial for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Marina, holding that she was not a convict.

A Division Bench comprising Mr Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Mr Justice P Rajamanickam dismissed a Public Interest Litigation filed by one, M L Ravi, seeking to restrain the State government from using the public money for constructing the memorial for Jayalalithaa as she was one of the accused in the disproportionate assets case.

The Bench held that she could not be described as a convict since the Supreme Court had not set aside her acquittal from the disproportionate assets case by Karnataka High Court. Pointing out that she had died before the disposal of an appeal preferred against the acquittal, the Judges said the Supreme Court had not specifically set aside her acquittal from the case after dealing with the  matter on merits.

The Supreme Court had only said the appeal against her stands abated.

''Therefore, as a necessary corollary it must be construed that she must be given the benefit of her acquittal from the case by the Karnataka High Court and therefore not be branded as a convict, the Bench observed. (UNI)