In a significant legal ruling. The Bombay High Court had emphasized that the deceased held fundamental rights under the Constitution. And this gives them the right to be treated with dignity even after death. The court’s remarks came during a hearing of a plea that highlighted the acute shortage of burial space in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, sternly criticized the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra government for their lackadaisical approach to the matter. The petition was filed by residents of Govandi – Shamsher Ahmed, Abrar Chaudhari, and Abdul Rehman Shah. They were seeking additional burial grounds in the eastern suburbs.
Referring to the legal responsibilities, the court underscored that there is a legal obligation on the municipal commissioner to designate appropriate areas for the dignified disposal of the deceased. The judges further emphasised, “You need to take care of the dead as much as the alive.”
Highlighting the constitutional dimension, the court invoked Article 21. Which grants the right to life and personal liberty to every citizen.
The judges questioned whether it was necessary for the court to intervene in such matters, stating that it should have been the duty of the concerned authorities to proactively address this issue.
The bench expressed its dissatisfaction with the BMC and the state government’s attitude. By making it clear that such negligence will not be excused. The court firmly stated that such disregard for a matter as sensitive as this is unacceptable.
The case’s next hearing will be on September 5th. This ruling by the Bombay High Court serves as a reminder of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Also, they extend beyond the realm of the living and encompass the dignity of the deceased as well.
As the legal proceedings continue, all eyes are on the authorities to rectify the situation and ensure a dignified resting place for the departed souls in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai.