The Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed DMK president and five-time chief minister M Karunanidhi to be laid to rest on Marina beach. The court had commenced hearing an urgent plea filed by DMK lawyers at 10.30 pm on Tuesday seeking space near Anna Samadhi — the memorial of his mentor C N Annadurai — for their leader. The hearing was resumed at 8 this morning after the government sought additional time for arguments. The government opposed the plea citing pending cases against burial space at the Marina. It had instead allocated two acres of land at Gandhi Mandapam in Guindy.
On hearing the judgment, DMK working president M K Stalin, who is at Rajaji Hall with the body, broke down.
The case was heard by a two-judge bench of Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar.
The government had stated in court that the memorial should not be allowed on Marina beach as Karunanidhi was not a sitting chief minister at the time of his death. It also referred to pending cases, which had challenged burials on the grounds that it violated rules of the coastal regulatory zone, which do not allow any new construction within 500 metres of the high tide line.
Former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, including Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, have been laid to rest at Marina beach.
The five petitioners, who had challenged construction on the Marina, had withdrawn their pleas, saying they weren’t opposed to Karunanidhi’s memorial near Anna Samadhi.
Madras HC order allowing M Karunanidhi’s burial on Marina beach leads to emotional scenes at Rajaji Hall, his son Stalin and senior leaders break into tears. DMK cadres raising anti-Aiadmk and anti-RSS slogans ahead of PM Modi’s arrival to Rajaji hall. @IndianExpress
— Arun Janardhanan (@arunjei) August 8, 2018
Karunanidhi’s body is currently at Rajaji Hall in the city for the public to pay their last respects. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among leaders who have flown to Chennai to pay their respects this morning.