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BMC Circular Does Not Prevent Burial Of Dead Infected With COVID-19: Bombay HC [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
8 April 2020 12:53 PM GMT
BMC Circular Does Not Prevent Burial Of Dead Infected With COVID-19: Bombay HC [Read Order]
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The Bombay High Court has said that the revised circular issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on disposal of bodies of coronavirus victims does not prevent burial of the deceased belonging to the minority community.

"It prima facie appears from the Circular that it does not prevent the 'burial' of the dead body of any minority community person afflicted with COVID-19 as sought to be suggested by the learned Counsel for the Petitioners", observed Justice A A Sayed.

On March 30, 2020, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi had notified a circular declaring that mortal remains of those affected by coronavirus will be cremated at the nearest available site irrespective of religion and if burial is insisted upon, then the body will have to be taken out of the city. However, the same was withdrawn after Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik intervened.

BMC amended the circular and issued a fresh one stating that burial will be allowed but certain guidelines will have to be followed, for example the cemetery or burial ground will have to be big enough for funerals and precautionary measures must be taken to avoid the spread of the deadly virus.

Justice A A Sayed heard writ petition filed by Riyaz Ahmed Mohammad Ayub Khan last week on April 3, wherein the previous circular was challenged and petitioner claimed that BMC had prohibited burial of bodies of minority community persons who died of coronavirus disease.

"It prima facie appears from the Circular that it does not prevent the 'burial' of the dead body of any minority community person afflicted with COVID-19 as sought to be suggested by the learned Counsel for the Petitioners. There is no instance mentioned in the Petition that the dead body of any minority community person afflicted with COVID-19 has been cremated instead of being buried" Justice Sayed observed.

Thus, Court concluded that the case relief was not made out and posted the matter for hearing on April 24.

Although, it was reported that on April 2, a 65-year-old man from Malad who died of coronavirus infection, was cremated after the trustees of a cemetery denied permission to bury his body there. 

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