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Haryana Government Withdraws Bill on Disposal of Bodies

  • 28 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the Haryana government withdrew the Haryana Honourable Disposal of Dead Body Bill, 2024, after objections from opposition parties.

Key Points

  • As per the Bill, the officer incharge of a police station had the power to take possession of the body if he or she had reason to believe from “personal knowledge or otherwise” that the body could be used by a family member or a group of persons for remonstration.
  • The issue raised was that no remedy was available in the Bill to the affected party after the Executive Magistrate passed an order on the cremation of a body by an urban local body or gram panchayat if the family refused to conduct the same.
  • The Bill did not have any appeal provision to the Executive Magistrate’s order.
  • Earlier, the bill aimed to ensure decent and timely last rites of the dead.
  • In consideration of the respect and dignity owed to a dead person, nobody should be allowed to raise any demand or bait for pursuing any demands by way of any protest or agitation by not performing the timely last rites of a dead body.
  • It is essential to prevent any individual from using a body as a means of protest or demonstration in any form.
    • The proposed legislation also emphasizes the responsibility of public authorities in cases where family members disown a body, leading to denial of proper last rites.
  • It is pertinent to note that the entitlement to dignity and fair treatment, in accordance with Article 21 of the Constitution of India, extends beyond the living to include the body after death.

Article 21

  • It declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens.
  • The right to life is not merely confined to animal existence or survival but also includes the right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living.
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