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Unfortunate That Even After 75 Yrs Of Independence, People Face Difficulties For Funerals: Andhra Pradesh High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 Aug 2021 4:04 PM GMT
Unfortunate That Even After 75 Yrs Of Independence, People Face Difficulties For Funerals: Andhra Pradesh High Court
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"It is very unfortunate to notice that even after 75 years of independent India some sections of people of the society are facing difficulties even for funerals also for lack of burial grounds and crematoriums in some villages and Towns," the Andhra Pradesh High Court observed while holding that right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to...

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"It is very unfortunate to notice that even after 75 years of independent India some sections of people of the society are facing difficulties even for funerals also for lack of burial grounds and crematoriums in some villages and Towns," the Andhra Pradesh High Court observed while holding that right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to a living man but also to his dead body.

The Bench of Justice Battu Devanand observed thus while disposing of a writ petition which challenged the proposal of the Local Government to allot part of Hindu burial ground for the purpose of Christian Cemetery

Having noted the arguments of the petitioners challenging the local government's proposal, the Court observed thus:

"…all those contentions are made against the proposal of the respondent authorities for allotting the said land for burial ground to the SC community people."

Consequently, the Court ruled that the allotment was neither illegal nor violative of any fundamental rights of the petitioners as it is the duty of the local self-governments to provide burial ground/crematorium to the people.

"The respondents to discharge their constitutional and statutory obligations decided to allot that piece of land for the use of the burial ground to the SC community people of that village. As such, it cannot be found fault under any angle," noted the Court.

Further, the Court also directed the respondents to conduct survey of the area in question in presence of all the parties concerned and if it does find that the burial ground land is under encroachment, to take immediate steps to evict the encroachers by following due process of law to enable the respondents to allot the said land for burial ground to the SC community people.

Against this backdrop, the Court referred to the ruling of Parmanand Katara v. Union of India & another (1995) 3 SCC 248 and further opined that right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes right to dignity and respect and the same is not only available to a living man but also to his dead body.

During the course of hearing of the writ petition, when it came to the notice of this Court that due to lack of proper burial grounds/crematoriums, a section of people who belong to Scheduled Castes are doing funeral activities on the tank bund of Pedakakani Village and other villagers are objecting for that, the Court remarked thus:

"It is very unfortunate to notice that even after 75 years of independent India some sections of people of the society are facing difficulties even for funerals also for lack of burial grounds and crematoriums in some villages and Towns. In the light of the order passed in this case holding that right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to dignity and respect and the same is not only available to a living man but also to his dead body and this view was reiterated by the Hon'ble Apex Court time and again, this Court expects that the State Government and the local self-Governments shall make endeavor to look into this issue seriously and to ensure to provide burial grounds and crematoriums irrespective of religion, region, caste, gender, etc., to the deceased persons to have a decent burial or cremation according to their customs to which one belongs to."

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