Calcutta High Court: The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ. and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J. took cognizance of a writ petition which was filed by a practicing advocate of this Court with the plea that one of the members of the Bar Association had expired few days back and his body was found on 29-07-2022 and no one has claimed the dead body, therefore, a prayer was made for handing over the body for performing the last rites to the office bearers of the Bar Association.
Advocate General informed that the post-mortem of the body has already been done and since no one had come forward to claim the body, therefore, the dead body was kept in mortuary of Vidyasagar State General Hospital.
The Court noted that no relative of the deceased was known and till then no one had come forward to take the body.
Assured by the fact that the State Authorities had no objection grating the above relief, the Court issued the following directions:
1) The State authorities are directed to hand over the dead body of deceased to the petitionerwithout any unnecessary delay as per rule on completion of due formalities.
2) We make it clear that handing over of the body is for the limited purpose of performance of last rites and will not affect any legal right of any legal heir etc.
3) The original death certificate will be handed over by the authorities to the Secretary of the Bar Association who will keep it safely for handing it over if any lawful claimant comes forward later.
4) The State authorities will extend full cooperation for smooth performance of the last rites of the deceased advocate.
[Manabendranath Bandhopadhyay v. State of West Bengal, 2022 SCC OnLine Cal 2150, decided on 01-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr Biswabrata Basu Mallick, Mr. Dipayan Kundu, for the Petitioner;
Mr S.N. Mookherjee, AG, Mr N. Chatterjee, Advocate, for the State;
Mr Billwadal Bhattacharyya, Advocate, for the Union of India.
*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.