Online ISSN: 2515-8260

Keywords : With the deadly COVID-19 claiming more than 1.3 lakh lives by November 2020 in India


The Rights Of The Dead And Their Rights To Have Dignity In Their Last Rites: A Study In India During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Harikumar Pallathadka

European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2020, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 3233-3240

With the deadly COVID-19 claiming more than 1.3 lakh lives by November 2020 in India,
a very pertinent thought comes to anyone’s mind. That, is it illegal to deny last rites to a
COVID-19 deceased in India? Various health and safety guidelines issued by international
organizations like the World Health Organization and national organizations like the
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare concerning the last rites of COVID-19 patients
have failed to address the issue at hand. Numerous reports of inhumane treatment of the
dead have raised concerns among human rights activists and the Indian Courts wherein it
was stated that the rights of the dead to a decent funeral are enshrined in Article 21 and
Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. The paper provides detailed insights into the chaos
that have unfolded around the last rites of the dead, traces the human rights jurisprudence
on this much-neglected topic and concludes with the recent judicial pronouncements in the
subject area.