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Judiciary

Right of dead to be given a decent and respectful last rite is as important as any other right available when he is alive: Bombay HC [Read Order]

By Saket Sourav      12 June, 2024 05:57 PM      0 Comments
Right of dead to be given a decent and respectful last rite is as important as any other right available when he is alive Bombay HC

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has criticized the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) for failing to provide adequate space for burial grounds in the city, despite repeated court directives. 

The division bench, comprising Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Amit Borkar, passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Shamsher Ahmed Shaikh and others, highlighting the scarcity of decent burial spaces in Mumbai.

"Such callousness on the part of the authorities cannot be appreciated. The right of the dead to be given a decent and respectful last rite is as important as any other right available when he is alive. Moreover, it is the statutory duty and obligation of the Municipal Corporation to provide adequate places for the burial of the dead. The authorities of the Municipal Corporation, thus, cannot shirk their shoulders away from such statutory responsibility," the Court observed.

The court had earlier identified three potential sites - near Deonar Colony, Rafi Nagar, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) - for new burial grounds. However, issues have arisen in securing these lands.

While a separate writ petition challenging the reservation of the Deonar Colony land has been combined with this PIL, the BMC informed the court that no feasible plot could be found within a 3 km vicinity of Rafi Nagar as stated earlier. Regarding the HPCL land, now privately owned, the BMC failed to deposit 30% of the compensation amount as directed by the court in November 2023 to initiate acquisition proceedings.

Expressing disappointment over the civic apathy, the court has directed the BMC Commissioner to personally look into finding an alternate plot near Rafi Nagar and ensure the acquisition process for the HPCL land is completed by depositing the requisite amount. 

The Commissioner has been ordered to file a personal affidavit detailing the steps to be taken for compliance by the next hearing scheduled on 21st June 2024.
 

[Read Order] 



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