High Court Efforts on to bring to India, mortal remains of...

Efforts on to bring to India, mortal remains of Hindu wrongly buried in Saudi Arabia: Govt to Delhi HC

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (ILNS) The Central government today informed the Delhi High Court that it was making all possible efforts to ‘expeditiously’ repatriate the mortal remains of a deceased Hindu man, who was mistakenly buried in Saudi Arabia.

The submissions were made by Vishnu Sharma, Director of the Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, before Justice Prathiba M Singh.

Appearing before Justice Singh, the senior MEA official said that efforts were on to expeditiously repatriate the process to exhume the mortal remains of the deceased. However, he also clarified that no timeline has been set or given, but best efforts were in process to resolver the matter.

The court was hearing a petition of Anju Sharma, the widow of deceased Sanjeev Kumar, who was wrongly buried in Saudi Arabia, though he was a Hindu.

On the previous date of hearing, the bench had asked the government official to follow up with the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of Embassy of Saudi Arabia here (India), in order to expedite the process of exhuming the mortal remains of the deceased.

Justice Pratibha Singh, while hearing the plea, had observed that since the mortal remains are in a foreign country, no specific timeline can be given, but the MEA should co-ordinate with the Saudi authorities and expedite the matter.

“In view of the fact that the MEA official appearing today cannot provide a timeline, but emphasis has to be placed on the sensitivity of the issue and the MEA official should also coordinate with the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of Saudi Arabian Embassy and request for a timeline,” Justice Prathiba Singh had said.

The court had also observed that the woman has been running from pillar to post, since passing away of her husband, and necessary steps ought to have been taken to bring back the body of the deceased to India to conduct the last rites.

Ms Anju had claimed in her plea that her husband Sanjeev Kumar had passed away due to cardiac arrest in Saudi Arabia, where he was working, on January 24 this year. She further claimed that after hearing the news, a request was made by the family members to repatriate the mortal remains.

However, on February 18, the family was informed that the body of Kumar has been buried in Saudi Arabia, while the family members were awaiting the mortal remains in India, the plea claimed.

The petitioner apprised the court that they were informed by the Indian Consulate there that an unfortunate mistake happened due to a translation error committed by the officials in Jeddah, wherein the late man’s religion was translated as ‘Muslim’. ILNS/ANB/SNG/RJ

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