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| Last Updated:10/03/2014

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High Court wants to know possibility of shifting toilet

The Hindu, 10 March, 2014


Dravidar Kazhagam office-bearer had filed a PIL petition against it


MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday directed a Special Government Pleader to obtain instructions from Pullambadi panchayat union in Tiruchi district over the possibility of shifting a public toilet constructed near the statue of Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) founder ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramasamy.


A Division Bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani told Special Government Pleader M. Govindan that it would be better to shift the toilet in view of objections raised by Thirunavukarasu, a Dravidar Kazhagam office-bearer, who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition.


The petitioner’s counsel, S. Muthukrishnan, contended that the PIL petition was filed much before the construction of the toilet to restrain the local body from doing so. Nevertheless, the authorities constructed the toilet and also threw it open for public use.


Mr.Govindan said the toilet had been constructed on a vacant land used by the local residents for open defecation. “Even the memorials of former Chief Ministers M.G. Ramachandran and C.N. Annadurai in Chennai had toilet facilities within their campuses. Therefore, the petitioner is wrong in his perception that construction of a toilet near Periyar statue amounts to disrespecting the leader,” he said.


In reply, Mr.Muthukrishnan said the toilet constructed next to a Periyar statue could not be compared with those situated in the corners of MGR and Anna memorials.


Mr.Justice Ramasubramanian pointed out that toilets were constructed only outside the houses in the olden days. Now, toilets were being constructed as part of bedrooms.


The judge also quoted Tamil poet and lyricist Kannadasan’s fictional conversation between a man and his excreta over who was responsible for the latter to be considered obnoxious and loathsome.


“According to Kannadasan, once a man called his excreta to be demeaning. Then, the excreta seemed to have replied: O man, I was Tirunelveli Halwa until yesterday. But I have become excreta today, only because you consumed me. So, the fault lies with you and not me,” the judge told amidst thunderous laughter in the court hall.