Covid-19: Not permissible to relax norms for disposal of bodies as per Parsi rites, says Centre

Covid-19: Not permissible to relax norms for disposal of bodies as per Parsi rites, says Centre

An agyari (fire temple). For representation only. Photo credit: iStock

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 17

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it was not possible to relax the prescribed burial/cremation Covid-19 norms/SOP did not permit disposal of dead bodies to accommodate funeral rites for Parsis at the Tower of Silence.

It has informed the top court that Covid-19 infected bodies were likely to get exposed to the environment and animals, if not buried or cremated properly.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, it said keeping corpses exposed without burial or cremation will not be a permissible way of disposal of dead bodies of Covid-19 victims and appropriate handling of such bodies was critical from public health perspective.

“The dead bodies of such infectious patients are likely to get exposed to the environment and animals, if not buried or cremated properly. The OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) has also observed that the people who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Covid-19 virus should minimize close direct contact with animals, including wildlife,” the affidavit read.

The affidavit has been filed in response to Surat Parsi Panchayat Board’s plea seeking relaxation in the existing SOP/norms for disposal of Covid-19 positive bodies to allow traditional burial for the members of the Parsi community.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud on Monday that it was not an adversarial issue and the government was ready to consider suggestions of the community.

As senior advocate Fali S Nariman said he will get in touch with the Solicitor General and will try to sort it out, the Bench posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

#corona #coronavirus #Covid #funeral #parsi #SC #towerofsilence

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