NGO Approaches Delhi High Court to Allow Performance of Last Rites of COVID-19 Patients in Green Crematoriums

On 30th May 2020, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking permission to perform last rites of COVID-19 patients in Green Crematoriums was filed in the Delhi High Court.

Petitioner’s Submission

The NGO Mokshda Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti through Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal filed the petition. The petition said that the NGO was working installing green crematoriums. They could help with the cremation of the bodies of COVID-19 victims after the last rites.

The petition said that the Delhi High Court had taken Suo Moto cognizance of the bodies piling up at the crematoriums. Furthermore, the High Court showed deep displeasure on the handling of dead bodies in the National Capital.

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The Petitioner said that the NGO had installed 46 Green Crematoriums in 7 States. Out of these, 16 are in the National Capital. This was possible with the help of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change and the United States.

The Petitioner was willing to facilitate the cremation of dead bodies in Nigam Bodh Ghat. In addition to that, they mentioned that they could provide a team of 4 members.

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The NGO pleaded for permission from the Delhi Government. They requested the Delhi High Court to issue directions to the Delhi Government. This was to allow them to cremate the dead bodies of COVID-19 victims in the Green Crematoriums.

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that the attitude of the Government towards the dead, was violative of the Rights of the Dead. It also demanded a detailed report from the Delhi Government. Furthermore, it ordered that this must not occur again.

The Delhi High Court heard the matter of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital too. This too was on the issue of disposal of dead bodies of COVID-19 victims. The Delhi Government assured the Court the same would not occur again.

The Bench of the Delhi High Court will hear the matter on 3rd June 2020.


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