In the case of Mohammad Latief Magrey vs. UT of J&K, the father of Amir Magrey—one of the four people killed in the controversial encounter at Hyderpora in Srinagar last year—has moved the Supreme Court to overturn an order of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court delaying the exhumation of his son’s body. Senior Counsel Anand Grover brought up the issue in front of the justices CT Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia’s vacation bench and The matter is to be listed on Monday, June 27.
On June 3, a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered that the government authorities not exhume Amir Magrey’s body. This decision had been made on May 27.
According to the single judge, Article 21 of the Indian Constitution’s provision of the right to life extends to treating a deceased person’s body with respect and encompasses the right to live in human dignity and decency.
The single judge had ordered the respondents to make preparations for the body or remains of the deceased to be exhumed from the Wadder Payeen cemetery in the petitioner’s presence, which had previously been refused by the authorities.
Pertinently, the single judge had ordered that the government shall give the petitioner compensation of 5 lakh for denial of his right to have the dead body of his son in such a scenario, i.e. if the body is putrefied and not in a deliverable state. On appeal by the Union Territory, the division bench decided to stay the ruling.
The argument made in the Supreme Court’s petition is that Articles 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution, which maintain and preserve the right of the deceased to a respectful burial by the next of kin after the religious ceremonies and practices, are grossly violated by the division bench’s order.
The petitioner additionally challenged the respondents’ claim that allowing the exhumation of the body of the petitioner’s son would send a bad message and lead to an avalanche of similar applications.