The Madras High Court has lamented over the fact that even today classification based on caste is made even in matters of burial of the dead.

The Court noted that the provision of separate burning and burial grounds based on the community is made.

Justice R. Subramanian and Justice K. Kumaresh Babu observed that "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."

"…even in the Twenty First Century, we are left grappling with casteism and classification based on caste is made even in matters of burial of the dead.", the bench added further.

Before the lower Court, the petitioners claimed that there are separate burial grounds for Backward Class Community and Scheduled Caste Community in Navakurichi Village.

Claiming that the respondents had buried a dead body in the land classified as Cart Track (Vandhi Pathai), situated adjacent to the land belonging to the petitioner, the petitioner sought for extraordinary relief of exhumation.

The private respondents/appellants herein, resisted the claim and contended that several dead bodies have been buried on the southern side of the said Vandhi Pathai.

The Writ Court concluded that the burial of the dead in a property classified as a Vandhi Pathai is illegal and the Authorities ought not to have allowed such burial.

On the said conclusion, the Writ Court directed the respondents to take steps to exhume the dead bodies and shift them to the designated burial grounds.

Challenging this order, an appeal was filed.

Advocate N.G.R.Prasad appeared for the appellants whereas Additional Government Pleader Vadivelu Deenadayalan appeared for Respondents.

The Court observed that as per the Commissioner's report there are several dead bodies and very old graves situated in the land in question.

The Court noted that 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, the Court was unable to persuade itself to agree with the conclusions of the Writ Court.

Thus the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the Order of the Writ Court.

Cause Title- P.Muthusamy & Anr. v. B.Vennila & Ors.

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