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'If Death Occurs, Is It State's Responsibility?': Allahabad HC Refuses To Entertain Plea For Disposal Of Dead Bodies Buried Near Ganga

Sparsh Upadhyay
18 Jun 2021 10:09 AM GMT
If Death Occurs, Is It States Responsibility?: Allahabad HC Refuses To Entertain Plea For Disposal Of Dead Bodies Buried Near Ganga
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"If you are a public-spirited person, tell us how many bodies you have been able to identify and give them a decent burial or cremation?", HC asked the petitioner.

The Allahabad High Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking disposal of the dead bodies buried near Ganga River at different ghats in Prayagraj, questioning the petitioner as to whether it is the State's responsibility if there is a death in a family.The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Prakash Padia asked the Counsel Pranvesh as to what had been his...

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The Allahabad High Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking disposal of the dead bodies buried near Ganga River at different ghats in Prayagraj, questioning the petitioner as to whether it is the State's responsibility if there is a death in a family.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Prakash Padia asked the Counsel Pranvesh as to what had been his personal contribution to the cause and as to whether he himself dug out and cremated the bodies.

The Counsel had prayed that the State of Uttar Pradesh Government be directed to perform the cremation according to religious rites and dispose of the dead bodies buried near Ganga River at different ghats in Allahabad as early as possible and to prevent/stop the burial of dead bodies near the River Ganga.

Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav further asked the Counsel to show your credentials and as to what had been done by him personally in the matter. "How can you come before the High Court under Article 226?", the Court asked.

Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav asked the Counsel:

"If you are a public-spirited person, tell us how many bodies you have been able to identify and give them a decent burial or cremation?"

When Advocate Pranvesh brought on record the Advisory issued by the National Human Rights Commission, to the Centre and States for protecting the dignity and the rights of the dead. 

Further, when Advocate Pranvesh argued that it was the responsibility of the state to perform cremation according to religious rites, and dispose of the dead bodies buried alongside the Ganga River, the Chief Justice asked:

"Why should the state do that? If there is a death in a family, is it the state's responsibility?"

Further, the Chief Justice orally remarked that we won't be allowing this petition merely for the sake of it, you have to show some personal contribution otherwise we may impose a heavy cost.

"These are not public interest litigation, but publicity interest litigation," added the Court.

Further, the Court said to the Counsel:

"Absolutely bald relief you are seeking with no research done, because there are ample practices which are there on the banks of Ganga as to various communities who perform last rites in a different format than what we understand and it requires a lot of research."

Lastly, the Court dismissed the plea by observing:

"Petitioner hasn't done any research regarding the rites & customs, which prevail amongst various communities residing near the banks of Ganga. It could be filed again with some research work."
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