Madras HC Holds Midnight Hearing On Plea To Permit Burial Of Karunanidhi At Marina Beach

Madras HC Holds Midnight Hearing On Plea To Permit Burial Of Karunanidhi At Marina Beach

The Madras High Court held a special midnight hearing on DMK's plea to permit burial of Ex-CM M.Karunanidhi, who passed away today evening, at Marina Beach. After hearing the counsel for DMK, the hearing has been adjourned to 8AM today for the reply of government.

The hearing was held at the residence of Acting Chief Justice H.G Ramesh, on the basis of request made by DMK lawyers, following the State Government's denial of burial land at Marina beach. Justice H.G Ramesh sat along with Justice S.S Sundar to consider the plea.

The special sitting was held tonight itself, taking into account DMK's submission that the delay in hearing might cause agitated outburst of emotions resulting in violence across the state.

The DMK leaders like MK Stalin, MK Azhagiri, Kanimozhi etc. had made a request before Tamil Nadu CM E.K Palaniswami to allocate space to bury M.Karunanidhi near the memorial of former Chief Minister Annadurai at Marina Beach. However, the Government expressed difficulty in allocating space at Anna Memorial in Marina Beach citing cases pending at HC against burials and cremations in Marina beach, and instead offered 2 acres land near Gandhi Mandapam at Sardar Patel Road, Adyar.

It was in this background that the DMK decided to approach the High Court. The petition was filed by R.S Bharathi, Organizing Secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam(DMK) Party, who was represented by Senior Advocate P Wilson. The State Government engaged Senior Advocate C.S Vaidyanathan, since the Advocate General Vijay Narayan was out of station.

It may be noted that during January 2018, a Division Bench of Madras High Court headed by the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had orally expressed opposition to construction of memorial of Jayalalitha at Marina Beach. The Court had observed then that Marina was the second longest beach in the world, and that no hindrance to access and enjoyment of the beach should be placed. The observations were made in a PIL filed by an activist "Traffic" Ramaswamy against the construction of Jaya memorial in Marina beach in violation of CRZ Regulations. There were other three petitions filed against construciton of memorials in Marina beach

However, one of the petitioners visited the residence of the Acting CJ late night to state that the petition against burials at Marina was being withdrawn.

But more drama unfolded when lawyer for "Traffic" Ramaswamy ruled out any intention to withdraw his petition.

Hearing will continue at 8AM at the High Court in a special hearing session, despite today being a public holiday to mourn the passing away of Karunanidhi.