A division bench of the court, which resumed the special hearing of the DMK's plea for a burial space for Karunanidhi at the Marina after adjourning it in the wee hours today, rejected the state government's contention that there were legal hurdles in way.
"There is no legal impediment for not allotting the place... Provide a place for a decent burial forthwith in terms of the rough sketch given by the petitioner," the division bench of the court comprising Acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and S S Sundar ruled.
The court said the government had failed to explain before it the legal hurdles that were coming in the way of permitting the leader's burial at the Marina, after five petitions against allowing such a practice there over ecological and other concerns were withdrawn.
"There is no legal impediment for not allotting the place. Already alloted place in the marina for all Dravidian leaders. There is no need to take different stand in the present case," the bench said.
The court's order was greeted with loud chants of "Kalaignar Pugazh Onguga (long live Kalaignar's fame)" by thousands of DMK cadre at the Rajaji Hall, some 8 km away from the high court, where Karunanidhi's mortal remains were kept in state in a golden casket.
A glum-faced M K Stalin, Karunanidhi's son and DMK working president, who stood pensively beside casket, sobbed uncontrollably, before regaining composure and wiping off tears of joy amid the pervasive gloom.
Shouts of "vendum vendum, Marina vendum (we want Marina)" had greeted Chief Minister K Palaniswamy earlier in the day when he arrived at the stately Rajaji Hall to pay his tributes to one of the tallest Dravidian leaders of modern times.
The court's order dealt a big blow to the AIADMK, which spared no effort to deny Karunanidhi, who headed its rival outfit DMK for half-a-century, a feat unparalleled in the coutry's history, the final resting place at the Marina.
AIADMK founder and former chief minister M G Ramachandran and his protegee J Jayalalithaa, who were buried on the beach and have memorials to them there, died in office, and the government cited this as a ground for not bestowing the same privilege to Karunanidhi as he was not a serving chief minister.
DMK founder and Karunanidhi's mentor C N Annadurai was also the chief minister at the time of his death in 1969.
The court, however, rejected the government's contention.
The DMK had petitioned the government soon after Karunanidhi's death seeking space for his burial alongside the 'Anna Samadhi', Annadurai's mausoleum on the beachfront.
The high and mighty of the land joined the grieving multitude to pay homage to Karunanidhi, a five-time chief minister and political warhorse who won 13 assembly elections on the trot, at the Rajaji Hall.
Clad in white kurta-churidar he spoke briefly to Karunanidhi's wife Rajathi Ammal with folded hands. He clasped Stalin's hand and the two talked quietly.
From Karunidhi's political foes to his tinsel town admirers, all mixed with the common people as they filed past the casket, paying their last respects to the departed soul.
Apart from chief minister Palaniswamy, his deputy O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, senior state ministers, AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan were present.
Barring a few pedestrians and some private vehicles, the streets of Chennai were deserted. All shops and business establishments were closed, with the occasional noise of police vehicles whizzing past breaking the ubiquitous silence.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)