Following an emergency hearing that was convened at the residence of the acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court over the location of the final resting place of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who passed away on Tuesday evening, the court, at shortly past 1 am on Wednesday, decided to adjourn the case after the Tamil Nadu government sought additional time to file its reply to the DMK's affidavit.
As per Republic TV's sources, the state government chose to not argue against the DMK's arguments regarding and instead sought time to file a counter-affidavit. The Advocate General of the state has indicated that the government wouldn't change its stand regarding the DMK supremo being laid to rest at the Gandhi Mandapam in Chennai's Adyar rather than the Anna Memorial at Marina Beach.
In the lead-up to the hearing, a number of petitioners who had filed pleas regarding the burial of leaders at the Marina beach area withdrew their petitions, seemingly a setback to any potential line of argument by the AIADMK government that relied on the Anna Memorial area falling under Coastal Zone Regulations.
The resumption of the hearing at 8:00 am on Wednesday would cut matters quite close as the Prime Minister, along with the Defence Minister, is scheduled to depart Delhi for Chennai at 7:30 am to be present as Karunanidhi is accorded a state funeral. A number of other prominent leaders are also likely to be present at Chennai on Wednesday, including former President Pranab Mukherjee, Mulayam Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others.
At the time of publishing, Karunanidhi's mortal remains have been taken to his daughter Kanimozhi's residence and will be shifted to Chennai's Rajaji Hall early in the morning.
Karunanidhi, 94, passed away at 6:10 pm on Tuesday evening, the Kauvery Hospital announced in a medical bulletin. He had been admitted there on July 28 following fever and a Urinary Tract Infection. He had suffered a transient decline in his health, along with blood pressure complications in the days of his admission, which also saw a number of prominent leaders, including the President of India, Vice President, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and several others, visiting him. The leaders were received by DMK working president MK Stalin and Kanimozhi.