Published: April 28, 2020 2:47:40 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief on a plea by residents, who had claimed that permitting the use of the burial ground at Bandra (West) to bury COVID-19 victims will lead to community spread of the virus.
Seeking directions to the BMC to cancel permission to bury bodies at the cemetery, petitioners Pradeep Gandhy and others, who live near Konkani Muslim Cemetery, had on April 14 moved court. The residents had claimed that the burial ground is located in the heart of Bandra (West), next to their residences, and as per a revised BMC circular of March 30, COVID-19 victims cannot be buried near residential areas.
However, Monday, advocate Pratap Nimbalkar, appearing for the trustees of the cemetery, said due process was being followed before disposing bodies. Petitioners had not placed any scientific reasons to show coronavirus spreads through bodies, he added. Referring to a notification issued by the Union Health Ministry on March 15, Nimbalkar said, “The notification says there is unlikely to be an increased risk of COVID-19 infection from a body to anyone if standard precautions are followed while disposal.”
After hearing submissions, Justice B P Colabawalla noted petitioners have not submitted any material to show or prove that burial of a body infected with COVID-19 would put residents living in vicinity at risk. The court directed the BMC to remove locks put up on the gates of the cemetery by local residents on April 13, following a protest against the burial of body at the ground.
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