Muslim body moves SC against burial of COVID-19 victims

NEW DELHI: The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in a plea of a Mumbai resident which opposes the burial of people who have succumbed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in a graveyard near his residence.

Mumbai-resident Pradeep Ghandy has moved the top court after his plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court on April 27. He had argued that the burial of COVID-19 patients in the graveyard in Bandra West would spread to the outbreak of the virus in the adjoining areas.

The apex court is likely to hear Ghandy’s plea against the High Court order on May 4. The matter is listed before a bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and Indira Banerjee.

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The Muslim body, seeking to intervene on the matter, said that the apprehension related to the spreading of the virus due to burial of bodies of those infected with COVID-19 is unfounded, and insisted that there is no risk during the burial.

The plea contended that the burial of dead bodies is essential to the religion of Islam, and it is also an essential practice of other religions such as Christianity. The plea said that such a right forms part of the right to practice one”s religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.

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The plea argued there is no evidence to support that persons have been infected from exposure to the bodies of persons who died from COVID-19.

The Muslim body argued in its plea that the petitioner’s grievance is based on the apprehension.

And, there is no evidence to support that the burial of persons, who were infected with COVID-19, would contribute towards the spread of the viral infection in the neighbouring areas, which includes the residence of the petitioner.

The Muslim body argued it is nothing but than a common myth that persons who succumbed to communicable disease should be cremated.

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