CHENNAI: The Madras High Court decreed there should be no discrimination against marginalised sections of the society in providing access to burial grounds. Disposing of a writ petition seeking orders to stop burials along a road in a Coimbatore village, Justice N Anand Venkatesh on Friday observed, “It’s quite unfortunate that even at the time of death, the caste factor does not seem to leave a person.”
The judge said the loathsome practice of disallowing persons from the marginalised sections from accessing burial grounds forced them to bury bodies in places other than a notified burial ground. “Such practice should immediately be stopped and everyone must be given access to the burial ground, irrespective of the caste or community to which they belonged,” the judge stressed.
The petitioner, S Amirthavalli, had prayed for orders to authorities concerned to ensure bodies are not buried along a road to her village, obstructing movement. He said immediate action must be taken in accordance with the law to hand out punishment if the burial is prevented by anyone on the grounds the body belonged to a person from a marginalised section.
“Only if stringent actions are taken and perpetrators brought to book can such condemnable practices be brought under control. This court expects stringent action will be taken by the authorities across Tamil Nadu wherever they find cremation/burial of dead bodies are not allowed based on caste,” Anand Venkatesh said in the order.
He ordered the authorities of Coimbatore district to ensure that the cremation/burial of bodies be permitted on the burial ground at Eripatti village in Pollachi taluk without discrimination of caste or creed and that the burial should not be allowed in any place other than notified burial grounds.