The Madras High Court Wednesday ruled that DMK patron M Karunanidhi can be buried near Anna Samadhi — the memorial of his mentor C N Annadurai — at Marina beach. DMK lawyers had moved court on Tuesday seeking space for a memorial for their leader. The court held a late night hearing at 10.30 pm and resumed proceedings this morning. Karunanidhi, five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 94. He was admitted in Kauvery Hospital a fortnight ago where his condition deteriorated.
Karunanidhi’s children and DMK leaders MK Stalin, MK Alagiri and MK Kanimozhi had met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswamy on Tuesday seeking permission to lay their father to rest at the Marina. The CM, refusing to grant access, allotted two acres of land at Gandhi Mandapam in Guindy, sources told The Indian Express.
Former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, including Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, have been laid to rest at Marina beach. Congress’ K Kamaraj is buried at Gandhi Mandapam.
Anna Samadhi or Gandhi Mandapam?
The AIADMK-led government is opposing the move to build a memorial citing pending cases challenging allocation of land for memorials at Marina beach. This is because the land is designated under the coastal regulatory zone — the DMK has challenged this. CRZ rules do not allow any new construction within 500 metres of the high tide line. The DMK has argued that as courts have allowed construction of memorials off the beach in the past, access should be granted for Karunanidhi.
As of Wednesday morning, all five petitioners withdrew their pleas, saying they weren’t opposed to Karunanidhi’s memorial near Anna Samadhi.
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A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar was hearing the case.