Allahabad High Court dismisses PIL on disposal of bodies

Lucknow:┬áTerming a PIL as more of a ‘publicity interest litigation’ than a public interest litigation, the Allahabad High Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking directions to the state authorities to dispose of dead bodies lying on the banks of Ganga in Prayagraj.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Prakash Padia turned down the argument of the petitioner that it is the responsibility of the state to perform cremation and dispose of the bodies in a dignified manner.

The court also questioned the bona fides of the petitioner and wanted to know if the petitioner had contributed personally to the cause by identifying any of the dead bodies or by giving them a decent funeral.

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“What is your personal contribution to the cause you are raising? Tell us if you dug out and cremated bodies,” the bench asked.

The court also expressed displeasure over the petitioner for approaching the court under the guise of PIL without having done proper research.

The court dismissed the petition, saying that it is inclined to impose heavy costs on such petitions.

The petition was moved by an advocate named Pranvesh, seeking the court to issue an order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing and commanding the respondents to perform the cremations according to the religious beliefs and dispose of the bodies buried near river Ganga at different ghats in Prayagraj as early as possible.

To the argument of the petitioner that he has “personally visited these places and the situation is very bad”, the court said, “You better do some research and withdraw, we are not entertaining such petitions. We are not interested in heavy words and adjectives. There are ground realities you have not examined.”

In the supplementary affidavit, Pranvesh had brought on record an advisory issued by the National Human Rights Commission directing the state authorities to look into the matter of ‘unclaimed dead bodies’.

“We are of the view that the petitioner has not done any research regarding the rites and customs which are there among various communities living near Ganga. We allow him to withdraw and file again with some research work,” the court further said.

In its summing remark, the court said that it would not allow such types of petition, merely for the sake of it.

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