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Mukesh Ambani’s house
Apart from the political legacy she left for posterity, former chief minister Jayalalithaa left behind a property worth Rs 90 crore and other assets worth Rs 80 crore at least.
According to a report in The Times of India, the AIADMK chief did not have a will announcing her apparent heir to her physical wealth.
The late chief minister and her mother Sandhya had purchased the Number 81 Veda Nilayam, Poes Garden property of 24,000 sqft area, in 1967 for an amount of Rs 1.32 lakh. But it is not yet clear if her political heir Sasikala Natrajan will continue to stay there, or niece Deepa Jayakumar and her brother Dipak may stake their claim on their grandmother’s property. Perhaps, like in the case of Jayalalithaa’s mentor MG Ramachandran whose house was stuck in legal disputes years after his death, the Chennai house too may be kept back, says the same report, even as MGR did leave a will, unlike Jayalalithaa, according to an Economic Times report.
In April 2015, the AIADMK supremo had declared assets worth Rs 113.73 crore, with movable assets worth Rs 41.63 crore and immovable assets worth Rs 72.09 crore. She declared an amount of Rs 41,000 as cash in hand, and 1,250 kg of silver articles valued at Rs 3,12,50,000, according to a Business Today article. She had declared commercial property and 14.5 acres of agricultural land in Hyderabad. And apart form this she had invested in five firms — Shri Jaya Publications, Sasi Enterprises, Kodanad Estate, Royal Valley Floritech Exports and Green T Estate, of which she was listed as a ‘partner.’ Furthermore, she declared that she had in possession two Toyota Prado SUVs, a Tempo Traveller, a Tempo Trax, a Mahindra Jeep, an Ambassador car of 1980 make, a Mahindra Bolero, a Swaraj Mazada Maxi, and a Contessa (1990 model), all this besides the gold that was seized in a disproportionate assets case against her.
The Times of India report has it that all of Jayalalithaa’s properties, barring her Poes Garden mansion and some inherited jewellery, could be attached to the case.
Gold jewellery worth over Rs 6 crore continues to stay with the Karnataka treasury, and her shares in various investments also remain seized. Though the case against Jayalalithaa herself will abate, it would continue against Sasikala. “The case will have to be fought on merit, as a conviction against all accused was given in 2014, then overturned by another court in 2015, which we have now appealed against,” said former advocate general BV Acharya who represents the Karnataka government in the lawsuit. If it is proven that the property of the others accused in the case belonged to Jayalalithaa, they could be punished, and the assets seized, says a report by The Times of India.
Her Chennai house was raided in 1996 by the income tax department, a year after she funded a lavish wedding for her foster son Sudhakaran, after declaring she would take a salary of only Re 1 as chief minister. The Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy had filed a disproportionate assets case against her based on the income tax report of having found 750 pairs of footwear, 10,000 sarees, 800 kg of silver, 28 kg of gold, 44 air conditioners and 91 watches at her home. Following this Jayalalithaa spent a month in jail and even vowed she would never wear jewellery again, a vow she kept up till 2011. In 2014, she was convicted again in a Karnataka court, according to a report by Economic Times.
Without a will, what follows under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, is that her assets will be divided between heirs. According to intestate rules the second Class for inheritance based on matriarchal and patriarchal relations, shall directly inherit the property. Deepa was turned away from Apollo Hospitals when she sought to meet her ailing aunt, although Dipak, who was allowed to assist in performing the last rites, may stand to have a chance, according to an article by DNA. There is also the matter of once adopted son VN Sudhakaran, who was later disowned. However, Sasikala deemed ‘dear sister’ could have the upper hand, with all of the state government backing her.