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High Court allows DMK leader Karunanidhi’s burial at Marina beach, Tamil Nadu may move SC

The DMK moved the court late Tuesday hours after the state government announced its inability to allot burial space for party leader M Karunanidhi on the Marina beach citing legal hurdles.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2018 12:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
karunanidhi death,karunanidhi burial place,karunanidhi burial
DMK leader Kanimozhi (in yellow sari) pays respects to her father and DMK president M Karunanidhi, at Rajaji hall in Chennai on Wednesday. Karunanidhi died on Tuesday.(AFP photo)

The Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed DMK leader M Karunanidhi to be buried at Chennai’s Marina beach. The order came on a petition filed by the Dravidian party following Tamil Nadu government’s refusal to allot space for him to be buried at the beach, the resting place of many political icons.

(Read: Live updates)

Karunanidhi’s son and political heir MK Stalin broke down on hearing the verdict.

Immediately after the court ruling, the government counsel sought a certified copy of the order triggering talk that the AIADMK government may move an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the DMK in its concluding arguments in the court said, “All we need is 6X6 foot land for a tall leader, nothing else.”

The ruling AIADMK said the burial place decision was a policy issue and court cannot intervene. “Only chief ministers who died in office were allotted space at the Marina Beach,” the government said

People pay their last respect to DMK chief M Karunanidhi at Rajaji Hall, in Chennai on Wednesday. (PTI)

The DMK said no law says only chief ministers are eligible for burial at Marina beach. “’You (the state government) have announced state mourning, why not give land for burial? There’s no prohibition under central government protocol to allot land at Marina beach for ex-chief ministers,” the DMK said.

The acting chief justice then asked to see permission granted for Jayalalithaa’s memorial.

The DMK’s lawyer told the court, “Anna, who is the founder of DMK, used to say my life and soul is Karunanidhi. Burying Karunanidhi next to Gandhi Mandapam cannot be termed as a decent burial.”

The Tamil Nadu government in its counter affidavit said that DMK chief Karunanidhi as CM didn’t allot land for former CM Janaki Ramachandran after understanding the protocol manual . Janaki was the wife of AIADMK leader MG Ramachandran.

Madras high court on Wednesday resumed hearing on a DMK petition to allow M Karunanidhi to be buried at Chennai’s Marina Beach.

Marina Beach is the resting place of the icons of Dravidian politics. CN Annadurai, founder of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is buried there, so is MG Ramachandran, who broke off to form AIADMK, and his political successor J Jayalalithaa.

The DMK moved the court late Tuesday, hours after the state government announced its inability to allot burial space on the Marina beach citing legal hurdles.

In a special late night hearing before the first bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar, the counsel for DMK questioned the government’s legal ground for not allotting space for burying Karunanidhi at the Marina beach. The high court met at Ramesh’s official residence at 10.30pm and heard arguments by Tamil Nadu’s lawyer CS Vaidyanathan and DMK lawyer P Wilson.

Read more: Karunanidhi was the last warrior of Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian politics

The DMK argued that there was no legal impediment to allotting space within the memorial of former Chief Minister CN Annadurai on the beachfront.

Senior counsel for the state government said they would get instructions and file a counter in the morning.

In his observations, the acting chief justice told the government counsel that “every minute of delay” may cause problems to the government and asked if it was prepared to handle it.

He also said Karunandihi was among the tallest leaders of the country and asked what was the problem in allotting a burial site for him at the Marina.

The DMK chief passed away at Kauvery hospital on Tuesday evening after days of hospitalisation.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 08:50 IST