KOCHI: Kerala High Court has stayed the order issued by the health officer of Calicut International Airport who had insisted getting his approval 48 hours before human remains are brought to India from Gulf countries.
The court issued the interim order on the petition filed by Dr Hanil Sajjad, Manager, Abudabi Universal Hospital seeking to quash the circular mandating prior permission for bringing bodies.
The circular mandates four certificates - death certificate, embalming certificate, no objection certificate (NOC) from Indian high commission of the country concerned and cancelled copy of the passport of the deceased.
According to the circular these certificates should be provided 48 hours before the arrival of mortal remains, either online or in person at the Airport Health Office (APHO).The cause of death should be mentioned on the death certificate, to ensure death is not due to a contagious decease or other deceases notified by international health organisations.
According to the petitioner, the circular is inhumane and the same is akin to treating the dead body as a hazardous object. This is causing hardship to the relatives.
Assistant solicitor general opposed the plea and informed that circular was issued in tune with Rule 43 of the Airport (Public Health) Rules 1954. The government has now decided to replace the rules for the purpose of improving the procedures for importing mortal remains of Indian citizens in tune with the Constitutional scheme.
The new rules insists approval only 12 hours prior to the importing of the human dead body. Rules have not come into effect, the government said.
The court made it clear that the authorities are free to insist 12 hours prior notice for the purpose in tune with the draft rules, till the matter is finalised by the court.