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Madras HC: Suo Moto cognizance of opposition by mob to the burial of body of doctor, died due to Covid-19 - issues notice, observes Art. 21 includes right to decent burial

The Division Bench of Madras High Court on April 20, 2020, comprising of Justice M.Sathyanarayanan & Justice M.Nirmal Kumar,  in Suo Moto writ petition, has taken cognizance of  opposition faced in burial of the doctor who died due to Covid-19 infection.  The dead body of the doctor was taken to a Christian Cematary at Kilpauk, Chennai,  at which, the residents of the area assembled in large number and opposed the burial of the dead body. The said incident came to knowledge of the HC, after seeing the telecast on visual media in that regard. Thereafter, the High Court has taken Suo Moto cognizance today on the said issue as Public Interest Litigation.

It was observed by the High Court that in the considered opinion of the Court, the scope and Ambit of Article 21 includes right to have a decent burial. It was held that it prima facie appears that as a consequence of above said alleged acts, a person who practiced a noble profession as a doctor and breathed his last, has been deprived of his right to have a burial, in a Cematary earmarked for that purpose. It was observed that on account of law and order and public order problem created, the officials who have performed their duties, appeared have sustained grievous injuries.

It was observed by the High Court that the citizenry should not take law into their hands. Otherwise, it would lead to anarchy, and in view of alarming situation, the notice was issued in Public Interest Litigation to the Chief Secretary and other concerned departments of the State in Suo Moto W.P. No. 7492/2020 by the HC and matter was posted for further hearing on 28/04/2020.

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