Chennai: The Madras high court will pronounce its verdict on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on constructing Rs 50.8 crore memorial for former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on the Marina Promenade in Chennai, using public money.

ML Ravi, leader of the Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDA), a political party from the Konga Nadu region in Tamil Nadu, had filed a PIL in the Madras high court seeking orders to stop the state government from spending public money on the memorial. The proposed memorial is planned to be built in the shape of a phoenix that will also include a museum and a knowledge park.

A similar PIL was also filed by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy.

Previously, Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswamy along with deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam had laid the foundation stone for the Jayalalithaa memorial on May 7, 2018.

The project was scheduled to be completed by March 2019.  Immediately, the two-acre land was barricaded for the construction. 

Hearing the PIL earlier, a division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice P Rajamanickam reserved its orders and the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Apart from objections to using tax payers’ money, the petitioner Ravi had also claimed the land chosen to build the memorial falls under the coastal regulatory zone and that it was a tourist place.

He said that the late Jayalalithaa was convicted by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case, but her punishment was abated following her death.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016 after being hospitalised for 72 days at Apollo Hospital in Chennai.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin had also opposed the memorial and termed the act anti-democratic as Jayalalithaa was number one accused in the disproportionate case.

The AIADMK led by chief minister Palaniswamy had also planned to conduct yagna before laying the foundation stone for the memorial. Criticising this, Stalin had said that let the government organise yagna privately, it can't be a part of government function.