A division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on June 3 stayed the operation of a May 27 judgment of a single-judge of the High Court directing the government authorities to exhume the body of Amir Magrey.
The single-judge had said that the right to life as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes right to live with human dignity and decency and would extend to treat the dead body of a deceased person with respect.
“Without dilating much on the issue, it can be said to be well settled that right to life and liberty guaranteed to a citizen by Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes right of the citizen to live with human dignity and this right to live with human dignity even extends after death though in a limited extent,” the judgment had said.
The single-judge had directed respondents to make arrangements for exhumation of the body/remains of the deceased from the Wadder Payeen graveyard in the presence of petitioner, which was denied earlier by the authorities.
“If the body is highly putrefied and is not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, the petitioner and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites as per their tradition and religious belief in the Wadder Payeen graveyard itself,” the Court had added.
Pertinently, the single-judge had directed that in such a situation, i.e. if the body is putrefied and not in a deliverable state, the government should pay to the petitioner compensation of ₹5 lakh for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son.