The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by a woman who claimed to be the biological daughter of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, to exhume the AIADMK leader’s body for a DNA test to establish the petitioner’s parentage. Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, however, permitted her to move the Madras High Court with her prayer. Petitioner Amrutha said her foster parents — the younger sister and brother-in-law of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister — adopted her in 1982. She claimed she was the biological daughter of Jayalalithaa and this was conveyed to her by her foster father Sarathy before he died in March. She urged the court to order the exhumation of the body of her “mother” so that the family could perform her funeral in a traditional manner.
Amrutha’s lawyer, senior counsel Indira Jaising, said at some point in time the family’s right to perform the AIADMK leader’s funeral in December 2016 was compromised as the State took over everything. Amrutha said her foster mother Shylaja, a sister of late Jayalalithaa and who died in 2015, and her husband Sarathy adopted her as they did not have a child of their own. She said she was born in Mylapore on August 14, 1980, where Shylaja was residing.
Before his death, she claimed, her foster father confessed to her that she was Jayalalithaa’s biological daughter and that her birth and subsequent adoption were kept secret to uphold the family’s dignity. According to Amrutha, it was only after Jayalalithaa’s death that she came to know through her cousins (co-petitioners in the case) and close family members that she was the late Chief Minister’s biological daughter.