Srinagar May 27, KNT: The J&K High Court on Friday directed the government to exhume the body of a civilian from Banihal area of Ramban district killed during an encounter in Hyderpora area of Srinagar on November 15 last year and provide Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family if the body is putrified.
The decision comes a week after a bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar reserved the verdict after hearing the slain Amir Magrey’s father Muhammad Latief Magrey through his lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) Government of India through its ASGI T M Shamsi and J&K government through its Additional Advocate General, Asifa Padroo.
The court in its judgment today directed the government to exhume the body of Amir and return it to his family for last rites.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar in his judgment while quoting the two cases from Madras High Court said that: “I am inclined to allow this petition of the father of the deceased Amir Latief Magrey and direct the respondents to make arrangements for exhumation of the body/remains of the deceased Amir Latief Magrey from the Wadder Payeen graveyard in presence of the petitioner. The respondents shall also make appropriate arrangement for transportation of the dead body to the village of the petitioner for according burial in his native graveyard in accordance with the traditions, religious obligations and religious faith which the deceased professed during his lifetime provided it is in a deliverable state. The respondents are free to impose any reasonable terms and conditions in respect of exhumation, transportation and burial of the dead body of Amir Latief Magrey, the son of the petitioner.”
“Since the dead body of the deceased must be in the advance stage of putrefaction, as such, it would be desirable that the respondents act with promptitude and do not waste any further time. However, 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. In that situation, the State shall pay to the petitioner a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son and give him decent burial as per family traditions, religious obligations and faith which the deceased professed when he was alive,” the court order reads.
On January 12 this year, the Court had issued the notice to MHA and the J&K government for response to the plea following the submissions by Advocate Rajawat that delay in handing over the body would traumatize the family members mentally. Delay, she said, was not “feasible’ medically also.
Pertinently, two more civilians Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr Mudasir Gull, who were killed in the Hyderpora encounter were exhumed and returned to their families following an outcry. (KNT)