Chennai, Aug 08: The Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed DMK patriarch and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to be laid to rest alongside party founder and his predessor C N Annadurai in the memorial on the Marina beach.
A brief order by a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Huluwadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar directed the government to allot land forthwith in the site indicated in a rough sketch submitted by DMK petitioner R S Bharathi.
The bench, which admitted an emergent petition filed late on Tuesday night by the DMK after the Tamil Nadu Government refused permission to bury Karunanidhi in the Anna Memorial and instead offered land in Gandhi Mandapam, said the GO was discriminatory as it differentiates between Chief Ministers who died in harness like Annadurai, MGR and Jayalalitha and former Chief Minister Karunanidhi.
The court also rejected the contention of Tamil Nadu counsel P S Vaidyanathan that incumbent office holders and former office holders were always treated differently.
The judges also noted that all the four –Annadurai, MGR,Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi--were rooted to the Dravidian ideology and said the Government should have factored in public sentiments before rejecting the plea of the DMK.
The Government’s excuse that it could not allot land in the memorial as a batch petitions were pending in the high court also fell to the ground after all the six petitioners withdrew their cases and the bench dismissed them as withdrawn .
All but one of the petitioners challenged only construction of a memorial for late Chief Minister Jayalalitha on the Marina as she had been buried behind the MGRSamadhi and it fell in the Coastal Regulation 1 which prohibits any burial ground or memorial coming up in the zone.
When Traffic Ramasamy, who was opposed in principle to all memorials on the Marina, wanted to drop the case, the court asked him to file a memo that he had no objection to a memorial for Karunanidhi on the Marina beach
The court also rejected the argument of Government counsel P S Vaidyanathan that it was “a stage-managed withdrawal of cases”.
On hearing the news, DMK working president M K Stalin who was receiving visitors at Rajaji Hall where the mortal remains of Karunanidhi lay in State, he broke down as it was the oft-repeated wish of his father that he should be buried alongside Annadurai on the Marina.