Man moves court to bring his daughter’s body from Saudi Arabia

The Madras High Court bench here last week directed the secretaries to the Ministries of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs to submit their reports on a petition filed by a man seeking the court’s direction to the officials to fly his 27-year-old daughter’s body from Saudi Arabia to India.

The petitioner, A. Antony Yagappa from Thanjavur district, claimed that his daughter A. Immaculate had died under ‘mysterious circumstances’ at Dammam in Saudi Arabia in May 2013 and her body was kept in a mortuary.

According to Mr.Yagappa, his daughter, a BCA graduate, had some marital problems with her husband, and had been living with her parents in Thanjavur. In September 2012, she had gone to Dammam to work as a computer operator in a private company, the petitioner claimed.

However, when Ms.Immaculate had called the petitioner from Dammam, she told him that she was employed as a maid in the employer’s house and was asked to remain there for six years, the petitioner added.

His daughter had told him that she was not provided good food, was not allowed to have a mobile phone and was overburdened with work by her employer, the petitioner claimed. He pleaded with those who had arranged for her job and visa – Bhuhari of Koviladi and Iqbal of Tiruchi – to take steps for his daughter’s return to India, but they did not help, he alleged.

Ms.Immaculate had last called him on May 5, 2013 from her employer’s phone, Mr.Yagappa said. On May 21, an unknown person had called his wife and informed that his daughter had died, the petitioner claimed.

In his petition, Mr.Yagappa claimed that he then approached Bhuhari and Iqbal, and tried to contact Ms.Immaculate’s employer through them, but was given elusive replies. Therefore, he had submitted complaints to the Tiruchi and Thanjavur police, but they were not registered. Later, he had submitted representations to the Thanjavur Collector and the Home department authorities to confirm whether his daughter was alive or dead, but in vain, he stated in his petition.

He then called the Consulate General of India in Riyadh and was informed that his daughter had hanged herself and the officials were awaiting the reports from the police and forensic experts, he claimed. He had mailed several representations to the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to arrange the transportation of his daughter’s body from Dammam to India, but he got no reply, he said in the petition.

Therefore, he moved the court seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police to investigate the circumstances under which his daughter had died and a direction to the Ministries of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs to make arrangements to fly his daughter’s body to India.

Justice T. Raja sought reports from the authorities and adjourned the case by two weeks.