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'Maintain dignity of dead', SC tells Centre while asking to submit guidelines for disposal of unclaimed bodies

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to submit the guidelines framed by it for disposal of
unclaimed dead bodies and their DNA profiling saying the "dignity of the dead" should be maintained.

The direction of the bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh came after the Centre submitted that
appropriate guidelines have been framed for the disposal of unclaimed bodies.

Supreme court. Reuters

File photo of Supreme Court. Reuters

"Framing of just guidelines does not mean that proper disposal of bodies. The guidelines need to be implemented in such a way that the dignity of the dead should be maintained," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand submitted that Ministry of Home Affairs has framed detailed and comprehensive guidelines regarding disposal of unclaimed dead bodies and their DNA profiling. She said these guidelines are not only limited to such bodies which are found in railway areas but covers the entire country.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Vikas Chandra Guddu Baba who alleged unclaimed bodies were dumped into rivers by the authorities. He pleaded with the court to frame guidelines  for disposing the unclaimed bodies.

Earlier, the apex court had directed the Centre that unclaimed bodies found in public places be disposed of in a decent manner. The Railways had earlier virtually refused to act on the issue of disposal of bodies found in its jurisdiction saying it is  government responsibility.

It had said that the disposal of unclaimed bodies found in railway areas was the responsibility of Government Railway Police (GRP), the operational cost of which was borne by the Centre and states.


Updated Date: Feb 26, 2016 18:13 PM

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