Unable to break casteism's shackles: HC expresses grief

The appellants prayed for a direction to set aside the order of a single judge to exhume bodies that were buried in a Patta land classified as Vandi Padhai and to re-bury them in the designated burial ground
Unable to break casteism's shackles: HC expresses grief

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court expressed its grief over the existence of caste-based burial and burning grounds in the State observing, “Even in the 21st century, we are left grappling with casteism and classification based on caste is made even in matters of burial of the dead.”

“We sincerely hope that the government of the day would come forward to make a beginning by making at least burial grounds and burning grounds common to all communities a division bench of Justice R Subramanian and Justice K Kumaresh Babu held.

The judges further expressed their unhappiness saying, “Though 75 years have passed since independence, we are unable to break the shackles of casteism and even the secular Government is forced to provide for separate burning and burial grounds on communal lines.”

The bench made these observations while disposing of an appeal filed by Salem-based litigants. The appellants prayed for a direction to set aside the order of a single judge to exhume bodies that were buried in a Patta land classified as Vandi Padhai and to re-bury them in the designated burial ground.

The judges set aside the order observing that neither the rules nor the enactment which governs the field prohibits burial in a non-designated place. As the advocate commissioner of this case informed that the concerned village in Attur Taluk, Salem district has the designated burial grounds on a community basis in the Village, the judges made the observations against the caste-based arrangement of burial grounds.

“In the absence of any prohibition in the enactment as is the case in the Tamil Nadu District Municipality Act and Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, we are unable to persuade ourselves to agree with the conclusions of the Writ Court,” the bench cleared.

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