COVID-19 Victim families allowed to perform final rites by Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court allows families of COVID-19 victims to perform the final rites upon death, after all the formalities of the hospital have been taken care of, provided that no post mortem is to be conducted.

The decision has been taken place keeping in mind Article 21 of the constitution which includes the right to decent burial and the firm belief of the majority people of India that without the performance of such rites, the soul of a person doesn’t rest in peace.

The bench directed that the body must be in a body bag, having the face end side to be kept as transparent and the staff of the crematorium or burial ground may open the bag for a last view of the body. The rituals which do not involve touching the body, may be performed and the body is to be directly taken to the crematorium or the burial grounds, not at the victim’s home.

In addition to this it was said that “Disposal of a human body, whether or not the person dies of COVID-19, whether by cremation or burial, should be done with due respect and solemness,”.

Reasonable precautions shall be taken throughout the performance of the religious rites.

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