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Arrival Of Dead Bodies Of Indians/OCI Cardholders From Abroad Permitted Subject To Compliance Of COVID-19 Guidelines : Home Ministry

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 April 2020 2:20 PM GMT
Arrival Of Dead Bodies Of Indians/OCI Cardholders From Abroad Permitted Subject To Compliance Of COVID-19 Guidelines : Home Ministry
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The Union Home Ministry clarified to Bureau of Immigration that arrival of dead bodies and mortal remains of Indian nationals/OCI card holders from abroad are permitted subject to adherence of guidelines/instructions issued by various departments in relation to COVID-19 managment.

The Office Memorandum also stated that the Standard of Procedure issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare should be strictly followed.

 

In this connection, it is pertinent to note that a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court by Pravasi Legal Cell, an organization for welfare of Non-Resident Indians, seeking facilitation to repatriate the mortal remains of Indians abroad who died due to non-COVID-19 related causes.

 In February, while responding to a similar plea filed in the Delhi High Court, the Union of India informed the Delhi High Court that the rule of 48 hours advance intimation for repatriation of mortal remains is not mandatory and that it may be waived off in case the applicant supplies the requisite documents to the concerned authorities.

The clarification was given by the Central Government in a PIL filed by the Pravasi Legal Cell, challenging the advance notice rule mentioned under Rule 43 of the Aircraft (Public Health) Rules, 1954.

The Rule states,

"The consignee as well as the air transport service shall give to the Health Officer of the airport of arrival advance intimation of at least 48 hours, of the importation of the dead body or human remains or ashes of cremated bodies."

The government told the HC that advance intimation of 48 hours is not a sine qua non, provided the applicant provides the below mentioned four documents to the concerned Health Office:

  1. Death certificate by the health department of the concerned country- clearly mentioning the cause of Death;
  2. Embalming certificate;
  3. NOC from the Indian High Commission of the concerned country;
  4. Cancelled Copy of the passport.
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