CHENNAI:THE HC has stayed till March 22, the operation of an order dated February 22 last of the sub-divisional magistrate-cum-revenue divisional officer of Kancheepuram directing St Joseph’s Hospice at Paleswaram to remove the alleged “nuisance” (foul odour) from the hospice.Justice M S Ramesh granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from V Thomas, the managing director of the hospice, on Thursday.
The petitioner said his institution was established in 2011 on 17 acres with 300 beds. The concept of hospice is not a hospital, but taking care and focusing upon the critically ill and terminal patients by giving them the environment to treat the sick, wounded or dying. The main purpose of the institution is to take care and protect the interest of dying destitutes, who are abandoned or orphaned by their family at public places. In case of death, it also performs the last rites. The deaths are intimated to the local police, village administrative officer and the panchayat.
A concrete vault burial place with huge pits has been constructed with concrete pillars. There are beds of rods between the pillars and they are structured in such a way to provide airtight and separate sections. Once a corpse is placed on the bed, it is closed airtight. This procedure does not need wood, fuel, electricity or vast space. There is no chance of air or water pollution, the petitioner said.
While so, G Karunakaran, a local politician who had developed a nexus with the local contractor who constructed the hospice buildings, demanded money from the petitioner. On refusal, he induced the authorities and made several anonymous complaints, assassinating his character and also that of other members.
Pursuant to this, the Kancheepuram revenue divisional officer, without any authority of law, issued the show cause notice under Section 133 (a) CrPC on February 22 last directing him to remove the “nuisance”, the petitioner said and sought to quash the same.
Vault for corpses
The officials who inspected the home a few days ago were surprised to find that the hospice had a multi-tier vault for storing corpses