The Uttar Pradesh government prepared a standard operating procedure (SOPs) for dignified cremation of bodies of those killed in criminal incidents or accidents and anyone who placed a body in a public place or road would face action since this amounted to disrespect of the deceased. It will be notified soon.
The new SOPs were prepared on the orders of the Allahabad High Court which had asked the State government to formulate them after the outrage during the cremation of the Hathras rape victim in the middle of the night in September 2020 when the district officials secretly cremated the victim’s body without the consent of the family. Later the family alleged that the police had locked them in their home during the whole process. The High Court also directed the government to sensitise officials to follow the due process.
According to the draft, once the families of the victim/deceased were given the dead body after the post-mortem, they needed to give in writing that the the body would be taken straight to their house and thereafter for burial/last rites. If the family of the deceased refused to take or accept the body, then the district magistrate would decide about the cremation in consultation with the local people.
If the cremation took place at night, the family of the deceased would have to give its approval in writing and the entire process would be video-graphed. As per the new SOP, any communication between the family of the victim and the administration would be preserved as a record for one year.