Patna High Court: The Division Bench of K. Vinod Chandran, C.J., and Rajiv Roy, J., took suo motu cognizance of a news report published on a web portal on 08-10-2023, which highlighted the incident where the Bihar Police had dumped accident victim’s dead body in a canal in Muzaffarpur.
The Court, quoted Sir William E. Gladstone, “Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the law of the land and their loyalty to high ideals” and opined that the manner in which the Police had acted in the incident, it was a sad reflection of our society.
The Court noted that in the wake of the pandemic, the National Human Rights Commission brought out an Advisory for ‘Upholding the Dignity & Protecting the Rights of the Dead’. The Court opined that “many believe that bodies, without life, were dispensable repositories of the soul, but when alive, it carried a soul; the part of a whole, which existed in every living being. A little more respect and a lot more dignity in its disposal was required”.
The Court directed the Union and the State to place on record the guidelines, if any, formulated and if not, to formulate the same and produce the same within two weeks. The Court further directed the DGP to place on record the action taken against the erring officials.
The matter would next be listed on 31-10-2023.
[In ‘re-handling of Dead Bodies’ based on the news report published in the web portal dated 08-10-2023, In re, 2023 SCC OnLine Pat 3880, Order dated 09-10-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Respondent/s: K.N. Singh, ASG; P.K. Shahi, AG