New Delhi, June 24
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea filed by a man seeking a direction to exhume the body of his son, who was killed in an encounter in Sringar's Hyderpora in November 2021.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, representing Mohammad Latief Magry, submitted before a vacation bench of Justices C.T. Ravi Kumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia that a single judge bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had allowed the exhumation of his son's body, however, a division bench of the high court stayed this direction.
Grover urged the bench to pass a direction to allow the authorities to hand over the body of Aamir Magry to the family for the last rites.
Four people, including Aamir Magry, were killed in the encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar on November 15 last year.
Insisting on an urgent listing of the plea, Grover further contended that the petitioner has supported the Army all through his life, and pressed for a direction to exhume the body to perform the last rites. After a brief hearing in the matter, the bench said it would hear the petition on June 27.
The plea, filed through advocate Nupur Kumar, said: "The Impugned Interim Order is in gross violation of Articles 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India, which uphold and protect right of the deceased to a decent burial by the next of kin following the religious ceremonies and practices."
A division bench of the high court on June 3, stayed the single bench order for exhuming the body of Aamir Magry and handing it to his family for last rites.
"The Impugned Order without assigning any reasons has stayed the operation of the judgment dated 27.05.2022, by merely observing that 'the matter requires a final decision from this Court after hearing all the parties', without appreciating that delay of each day in execution of the judgment of the Ld. Single Judge is resulting in the body of the deceased decomposing," said the plea.
The single judge asked the authorities to make arrangements for exhuming the remains of the deceased from the Wadder Payeen graveyard in the presence of Latief Magrey.
"It was further directed that if the body is highly putrefied and is not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, the Petitioner and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites as per their tradition and religious belief in the Wadder Payeen graveyard itself where the deceased is lying buried, and in that situation, the respondents shall pay the petitioner a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son and give him decent burial as per rites and customs," added the plea.
The authorities exhumed and returned the bodies of two more civilians, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr Mudasir Gul, who were killed in the Hyderpora encounter, to the families following an outcry.