The News Scroll 08 April 2021  Last Updated at 9:08 pm | Source: PTI

Hindu man buried as Muslim in Saudi:Centre plans for legal proceedings to bring back mortal remains

Hindu man buried as Muslim in Saudi:Centre plans for legal proceedings to bring back mortal remains
New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it plans to get a power of attorney from the family of a Hindu man, who was buried in Saudi Arabia as per Muslim rites, to initiate legal proceedings there for bringing his remains back to India.

The submission on behalf of the Ministry of External Affairs was made before Justice Prathiba M Singh who on April 5 had asked the government to explore alternate legal remedies available with it in the foreign land to exhume and repatriate the remains.

The court had also said that the government cannot wait endlessly to bring back the remains in view of lack of updates from the Saudi government.

On Thursday, the MEA, represented by central government standing counsel Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj told the court that further correspondence was ongoing with the Saudi Arabian government and meetings were also scheduled with its Foreign Ministry to expedite the repatriation of the remains.

Taking note of the submissions, the court said that if nothing happens by the next date of hearing on April 15, it intends to appoint an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter.

The court was hearing a case in which the mortal remains of the Hindu man were wrongly buried in Saudi Arabia as per Muslim rites due to incorrect translation of his religion on the death certificate purportedly by Indian Consulate officials in Jeddah.

The deceased''s wife, who had been running from pillar to post to get the mortal remains, approached the high court in March seeking direction to the MEA to take steps to urgently exhume the remains and repatriate them to India in a time-bound manner.

The high court had earlier asked the MEA to coordinate with the Deputy Chief of Missions of Saudi Embassy here to facilitate the exhumation and repatriation of the remains.

It had also requested the Deputy Chief of Mission to obtain some timeline within which the process of exhumation and repatriation of the body would be completed.

The widow, Anju Sharma, in her plea filed through advocate Subhash Chandran has said that on getting the news of her husband''s death, the family had requested the authorities to repatriate the mortal remains.  

Sanjeev Kumar, 51, died on January 24 in Saudi Arabia, where he was working, due to cardiac arrest and his mortal remains were kept at a hospital there.

"Shockingly, on February 18, the petitioner was informed that the body of her husband has been buried in Saudi Arabia while the family members of the deceased were waiting for the mortal remains in India.

"The officials in Indian Consulate explained that it was due to a mistake committed by the official translator of the Indian Consulate, Jeddah, who wrongly mentioned his religion as ''Muslim'' in the death certificate. They also shared a letter of an apology tendered by the official translating agency of Indian Consulate in Jeddah with the petitioner herein," said the petition, filed through advocate Yogamaya M G.

The plea also said that neither the woman, nor any of the family members gave consent to bury Kumar''s body in Saudi Arabia.

Thereafter, the woman requested the officials of Indian Consulate in Jeddah to ask the local authorities there to exhume the mortal remains of her husband so that they can be transported to India for performing last rites as per the faith of the family.

"Unfortunately, even after seven weeks of the death of the husband of petitioner, the authorities have failed to do necessary formalities to repatriate the mortal remains of Sanjeev Kumar to India for performing last rites," the plea has said.

It also sought direction to the Centre to take appropriate departmental actions against officials concerned of the Indian Consulate at Jeddah for their willful negligence and also direct the authorities to obtain a corrected death certificate of the deceased and supply the document to his wife. PTI HMP RKS RKS

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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