Chennai, Aug 8: The Madras High Court on Wednesday ruled that former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will be buried on the famed sands of the Marina beach. The court further directed the state government to ensure and establish a memorial for the DMK chief.
A division bench of the court comprising Acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and SS Sundar passed the order on a petition filed by the DMK at a special hearing.
An emotional M.K. Stalin, DMK’s Working President and son of Karunanidhi broke down on hearing the news and so did top leaders including Duraimurugan, A.Raja and M. Kanimozhi, who is also Karunanidhi’s daughter.
Duraimurugan and A. Raja comforted Stalin and other family members including former Union Minister and Karunanidhi’s grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi.
The verdict came after a rare midnight courtroom hearing followed by another three-hour-long exchange of arguments on Wednesday between the Tamil Nadu government and DMK over where he shall be buried.
The DMK, demanding land at the Marina Beach for Karunanidhi’s burial, submitted before the court that under Central government protocol, there is no prohibition to allot land at Marina beach for former chief ministers.
It further said that former Tamil Nadu CM and DMK founder CN Annadurai used to say that “my life and my soul is Karunanidhi”. “Burying Karunanidhi next to Gandhi Mandapam cannot be termed as a decent burial,” DMK’s counsel said.
The opposition party also questioned the state government’s move saying that when it can announce a week-long mourning in Tamil Nadu, why it cannot allow burial at the Marina beach.
Defending its decision the state government said the previous DMK government headed by Karunanidhi had turned down a plea for burying late chief minister M G Ramachandran’s wife Janaki on ground she was not a sitting CM.
Within minutes of Karunanidhi’s death on Tuesday, a huge row erupted after the state’s AIADMK government rejected the demand of the DMK for land on the Marina beach to bury the DMK patriarch.
Wasting no time, DMK’s counsel P Wilson and A Sarvanan rushed to the residence of H G Ramesh, the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, with a plea to direct the state government to revoke its decision denying permission for Karunanidhi’s burial and erection of a memorial to him on the beach.
The judges heard the arguments by counsel for the DMK and the state government before adjourning the matter around 1.15 AM for resumed hearing at 8 in the morning.
Earlier, soon after the court resumed the hearing on the DMK’s plea, which was adjourned in the wee hours today, all five petitions challenging former chief minister late Jayalalithaa’s burial at the Marina on different grounds were dismissed as withdrawn.
These petitions had been cited by the government for denying permission to bury the DMK stalwart on the beach, which also has memorials to former chief ministers M G Ramachandran and his protegee Jayalalithaa.