Delhi Airport agrees to repatriate body of COVID-19 victim from Jordan: HC told

New Delhi: The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) on Monday informed the High Court that it has agreed to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Centre for repatriation of the body of migrant labourer, who died due to COVID-19 on November 4 in Jordan.

DIAL’s counsel informed a single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla that he will get in touch with the officials concerned over what is required and what can be done.

After the submission made by DIAL, the bench disposed of the petitions directing the counsel of DIAL to inform the petitioner’s lawyer about the formalities required in the process.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a bereaved father seeking direction to Delhi Airport to grant permission for repatriation of his son’s body, who succumbed to COVID-19 in Jordan.

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Jahiruddin, through his advocate Subhash Chandran KR told the court that Abdul Kalam, his 26-year-old son, is an Indian citizen who passed away on November 4, 2020, at his workplace in Jordan due to COVID-19.

According to the petitioner, after the intervention of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Jordan office and Embassy of India at Jordan, the employer has agreed to meet the expenses for sending the mortal remains of Kalam to India.

Thereafter, Embassy of India completed the formalities for repatriation of Kalam’s remains and Emirates Airline has agreed to carry his body from Amman to Delhi Airport, the plea said.

It said Lawyers Beyond Borders (LBB) India, an international organisation advocating for the rights of migrants, made arrangements for receiving, transporting and cremation of the Covid positive dead body with the help of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal (SBS Foundation, Delhi) as per the request of ILO and Embassy of India at Jordan.

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The petitioner also pointed out the work of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal, a Non-Governmental Organisation and said it has cremated more than 525 Covid positive dead bodies so far adhering to proper corona protocol to handle the bodies.

The petitioner also told the court that through LBB, he had sent a memorandum to DIAL requesting for permission to repatriate mortal remains of Abdul Kalam but no reply has been received yet.

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