Madras HC grants Isha Foundation time to respond to petition against electric crematorium

According to the petition, Isha Foundation has constructed the electric crematorium in violation of Rule 7 of the Tamil Nadu Village Panchayat (Provision for Burial and Burning Grounds) Rules, 1999, which mandates that no burial ground or crematorium can be raised within 90 metres of a dwelling place.
Isha yoga and Isha foundation founder Jaggi Vasudev.
Isha yoga and Isha foundation founder Jaggi Vasudev. ENS

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has granted the Isha Foundation time till June 12 for filing a counter-affidavit on a petition seeking to stay the operations of an electric crematorium constructed close to a residence at Ikkarai Boluvampatti, Coimbatore.

A vacation bench of Justices J Sathya Narayana Prasad and V Lakshminarayanan, on Wednesday, ordered a notice to Isha Foundation to respond to the petition filed by S N Subramanian, after recording the undertaking given by senior counsel Sathish Parasaran that the foundation will not operate the crematorium sans the consent of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

The petitioner alleged that the Isha Foundation has constructed the electric crematorium in violation of Rule 7 of the Tamil Nadu Village Panchayat (Provision for Burial and Burning Grounds) Rules, 1999, which mandates that no burial ground or crematorium can be raised within 90 metres of a dwelling place. He said the crematorium is located in an eco-sensitive elephant habitat of Boluvampatti Valley which falls under the Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA).

Advocate Purushothaman, appearing for the petitioner, alleged that the relevant government authorities did not hold a public hearing to elicit the views of the local residents before granting permission for construction of the crematorium in the eco-sensitive area.

He sought the court to stay the order of the Boluvampatti panchayat president granting permission for raising the crematorium and prevent Isha Foundation from operating the same. Moreover, he sought the court to order an inquiry by the district collector into the granting of permission in violation of the rules.

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