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HC reopens case filed against installation of Karunanidhi’s statue in Tiruvannamalai- Mrit News

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Bench decides not to pass any orders and directs the Registry to list the matter once again before regular Bench on June 6

Bench decides not to pass any orders and directs the Registry to list the matter once again before regular Bench on June 6

The Madras High Court on Wednesday decided to rehear a public interest litigation petition filed against installation of a statue for former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in Tiruvannamalai town. It directed the Registry to list the case once again on June 6 and asked Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to postpone the unveiling ceremony scheduled to be held on Thursday in view of the birth anniversary of the departed leader.

Vacation Bench of Justices M.S. Ramesh and Mohammed Shaffiq had on Tuesday reserved orders on the PIL petition and decided to pronounce their verdict on Wednesday. However, after going through the case documents and certain court rulings, the judges decided to reopen the case since there were certain doubts with respect to the guidelines to be followed even while installing a statue on a private ‘patta’ land.

When senior counsel S. Prabakaran, representing DMK as well as Jeeva Educational Trust which had gifted 92.5 square feet of land to the party for the installation of the statue, as well as Additional Advocate General J. Ravindran contended that all guidelines had been followed in letter and spirit, the judges asked them to canvass their points before the regular Division Bench when the court reopens after summer vacation on Monday.

The PIL petition was filed by G. Karthick, 39, an iron scrap merchant based in Chennai. The petitioner had claimed that an individual by name M. Rajendran owned only 92.5 sq.ft of land on the Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple Girivalam (circumambulation) path but had obtained patta for a larger extent of 215 sq.ft. On the basis of such patta, he had purportedly sold 215 sq.ft to Jeeva Educational Trust based in Tiruvannamalai.

The trust was run by E.V. Kumaran, son of Minister for Public Works E.V. Velu, the petitioner said and alleged the public lands had been encroached upon. However, the DMK filed an impleading petition and stated that it was the absolute owner of the land ever since the trust executed a gift deed. However, the PIL petitioner had failed to include the party as one of the respondents and hence the case was liable to be dismissed on this ground, it said.

The party also told the court that the extent of the land was erroneously mentioned as 215 sq.ft. both in the sale deed as well as gift deed and that it had been corrected to 92.5 sq.ft by way of a rectification deed executed on May 25. However, on May 19, another Division Bench of Justices S.M. Subramaniam and Sathya Narayana Prasad had heard the PIL petition and granted an interim order against the installation of the statue.

Therefore, both the party as well as the trust urged the court to vacate the interim order and dismiss the PIL petition.

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