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Exhume Dr Simon’s body, re-bury it in Kilpauk cemetery: Madras HC

The court made it clear that everyone present during the entire process should show respect to the deceased person at all times.

Published: 01st April 2021 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2021 03:49 AM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Madras High Court (File Photo| PTI)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Observing that it is the fundamental right of a person to have a decent burial, the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Chennai Corporation officials to exhume the body of Chennai-based neurosurgeon Dr Simon Hercules, who was buried at a cemetery in Velangadu after he died of Covid last year, and bury it in the Kilpauk cemetery with all safety measures.

Justice Abdul Quddhose passed the order while allowing a plea moved by Dr Simon’s widow Anandhi Simon. The court made it clear that everyone present during the entire process should show respect to the deceased person at all times.

Since India and many other countries do not have legislation on the exhumation of dead bodies, the judge after some research decided to rely on a statute of Ireland – Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act – to fill in the ‘legislative vacuum’ on the issue, said the order.

“This court after perusing and examining the safeguards adopted in Ireland for the purpose of exhumation is of the considered view that till such time, a legislation on exhumation comes in place in India, the same safeguards shall be followed while exhuming Dr Simon’s body,” Justice Abdul Quddhose said.

The judge also ordered for certain procedures to be followed during the entire process. “The exhumation should start as early as possible in the morning to ensure maximum privacy. Screens should be placed around the existing grave/burial plot to protect the exhumation from public view and to guarantee privacy. Workers must treat the neighbouring burial plots with care.

Disinfectants and disposable protective clothing (including respiratory facemasks) must be made available to the workers and disposed of safely after the exhumation. All remains and pieces of casket, webbing etc., are to be placed in the new casket (shell). Videography of the exhumation and reburial process shall be done.”



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