Construct Hospitals And Schools In Honour Of Great Leaders Instead Of Statues And Memorials, Says Madras HC [Read Judgment]

Construct Hospitals And Schools In Honour Of Great Leaders Instead Of Statues And Memorials, Says Madras HC [Read Judgment]

"Public money can be spent for construction of hospitals, school, colleges, implementation of developmental projects and provision of basic facilities/amenities to the citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders and it would be an everlasting memory in the mind of the citizens/people.”

The Madras High Court recently endorsed the idea of construction of hospitals, schools, colleges and provision of basic amenities/facilities to benefit the public/citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders, instead of building memorials and statues using public money.

The bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayana and Justice P.Rajamanickam observed thus while considering a petition against construction of memorial of former chief minister J.Jayalalitha at a cost of Rs.50.80 Crores on the burial place (Samadhi) at Marina Beach, Chennai by the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Though the bench dismissed the plea holding that Jayalalithaa cannot be termed a convict in a disproportionate assets case, it made an important observation: "The State Government may endeavour to take a call / formulate a policy decision in future, to go for construction of hospitals, schools, colleges and provision of basic amenities/facilities to benefit the public/citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders."

The court observed that it has become a norm to build memorials in honour and memory of former Chief Ministers and leaders of this Country and public money had been spent for that purpose and the justification is that memorials/statutes would remind the public about the contribution made by them towards the development of the State/Country. It also noticed that the Government of Tamil Nadu has set up such 68 Memorials, 4 Arangams, 5 Commemoration Pillars and 1 Monument.

The judge said: "It is pertinent to note at this juncture that public money can be spent for construction of hospitals, school, colleges, implementation of developmental projects and provision of basic facilities/amenities to the citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders and it would be an ever lasting memory in the mind of the citizens/people. However, it is for the Government concerned to take a call and this Court cannot issue any positive direction to do so."