Claiming to be the biological daughter of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, a woman today moved the Madras High Court seeking that the body of AIADMK leader be cremated as per the Vaishnavite brahmin community rituals. Justice S Vaidyanathan posted the petition of the woman for tomorrow to decide on maintainability after senior counsel V Prakash appearing for her sought time to amend the prayer to include a plea for a DNA test to establish her parentage. The woman had last month moved the Supreme Court with the same prayer but it had refused to entertain it. The woman had claimed that she had been given in adoption to Jayalalithaa’s sister and her husband. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had, however, said she was at liberty to approach the high court. When the matter came up for hearing, Justice Vaidyanathan, noting that several persons were claiming they were the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, orally observed that to put the quietus on the issue, a DNA test may be ordered. If the claim was proved to be false after the test, the petitioner should face the consequences, he said. Jayalalithaa died on December 5 last year after prolonged hospitalisation and her body was buried off the famous Marina Beach here.
In her present petition, the woman sought a direction to the state government to permit the family members to cremate Jayalalithaa’s body as per Hindu rites on the grounds that she was an Iyengar Brahmin. She also sought police protection for her and her family members at the time of cremation. The judge today said there were other legal heirs and they had not been impleaded by the petitioner. However, state Advocate General Vijay Narayan said she had no connection with the late chief minister and even for a DNA test, the court has to arrive at a prima facie case. He contended that the petition was not maintainable in the absence of any authority to say that she was the legal heir of Jayalalithaa.
Alleging that the petitioner was a ‘fortune hunter’ or ‘publicity seeker’, he said she wants the court to conduct a roving enquiry. Counsel for the petitioner Prakash requested the court to restrain the media from publishing the family issues mentioned in the affidavit. Making a mention about the earlier proceedings before the Supreme Court, he said the petitioner only wanted the court direction to facilitate the cremation. He said the petitioner was willing to undergo a DNA test and that prima facie she can show some records to prove her claim. Prakash said before the petitioner’s foster father died in March this year, he revealed this information to her. He also claimed that telephone records would prove that Jayalalithaa had made phone calls to the petitioner several times.