Chennai : This one would go down in history as one of the ‘meatiest’ cases dealt with by the Indian judiciary since Independence.

A villager in Sivaganga (the home district of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram) in south Tamil Nadu who thought it fit to wage a legal battle to get his share of meat following a community festival had to return disappointed with the judge refusing to grant him any relief saying it was “civil dispute.”

The crux of this meaty dispute is this. The villagers of Naduvikottai Keelaiyur in Sivaganga organised a temple festival during the Tamil month of ‘Masi’ (February-March) and offered a goat in sacrifice to the presiding deity. As per custom, the meat from the slaughtered goat is distributed proportionately to all villagers.

One of the inhabitants Narayanan claimed that he did not receive his share of meat and took the matter to the Madras High Court. He said the local police had failed to act on his complaint to take action against the village head for not distributing the meat to him.

However, the local police Sub-Inspector filed a counter affidavit denying his claim and said the village head had given the meat to the petitioner’s family members. In fact, as per the village note book records, he was given two shares of the meat since he was residing with his father and brother.

On their part, the village elders informed the court that the meat was given to the petitioner’s wife but later he had returned it for some reason.

Delivering his verdict Justice S Nagamuthu said the court cannot resolve such a dispute which was civil in nature. Also from the police affidavit it appeared that the petitioner was in the habit of lodging false complaints against the villagers.

“Having regard to all the above, no relief could be granted to the petitioner. Since no relief could be granted, the petitioner has to work out his remedy in a civil court,” Justice Nagamuthu said dismissing the petition.

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