PIL for Dead Body Management

Gulab Chandra Prajapati Vs. State of Jharkhand & others | The High court Of Jharkhand at Ranchi | Status: Pending | |

Gulab Chandra Prajapati is a respectable man in the society and has a genuine concern regarding the dead body management because of death due to COVID-19. He has no personal interest, direct or indirect, in subject matter of the Public Interest Litigation. on 12th April 2020, one of the Covid-19 patient resident of Hindpiri, Ranchi died.  And as per news report and different social media platform, petitioner came to knew that there was huge dispute regarding burial of the deceased. Firstly it was decided to bury in the Badgai Cemetry but  was not allowed. Later Joda Talab Cemetery near Bariatu was decided where also burial was not allowed. Then they move to Ratu Road Burial Ground where many people gathered and burial was not allowed. Police was also present but burial was not allowed. the above incident shows that state have not yet notified any fixed place for cremation or burial of the Covid-19 dead bodies. Though there is not much threat because of burial as per present research but state must follow the Guidelines on Dead body Management. State must take the best possible steps in burial or cremation of the deceased. Staffs like ambulance driver, grave digger and also the family relatives of the deceased must be given proper training and provided with all the supports. 

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Parmanand Katara v. Union of India ( 1995 3 SCC 248) held that right to dignity and fair treatment Under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to a living man but also to his body after his death. This kind of burial also violates the above principle. State must come out with a fixed place of burial in every district of Jharkhand and also see as to there is no break up of the lockdown. Mr. Gulab  have also spoke to one of the resident of the Ratu Road Cemetry. The person informed him that there are number of small wells near the cemetery area. Many a times body part has been found in the wells of the area. That is why there is fear among the people. As per Dead Body Management Guidelines, the main driver of transmission of COVID-19 is through droplets. There is unlikely to be an increased risk of COVID infection from a dead body to health workers or family members who follow standard precautions while handling body. Only the lungs of dead COVID patients, if handled during an autopsy, can be infectious.  The people involved in dead body management must follow Standard Precautions while handling body and Respondents must provide proper training for standard handling. All staff identified to handle dead bodies in the isolation area, mortuary, ambulance and those workers in the crematorium / burial ground should be trained in the infection prevention control practices. 

As per Dead Body Management Guidelines, all the medical wastes must be handled and disposed of in and accordance with Bio Medical Waste Management Rules. It is submitted that the state have the duty bound to implement the judgment/orders passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court and follow the guidelines and rules passes by Central Government. Also under Article 51 it is the duty of Respondent to respect and foster the International Treaty. Therefore, Mr. Gulab has got no other efficacious, speedy and alternative remedy than to move before this Hon’ble Court by way of this Public Interest Litigation for the proper implementation of the Dead Body Management Guideline.