Saudi Arabia likely to send mortal remains of Indian, Delhi High Court told

The Centre on Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that the Saudi Arabian government has located the grave of a Hindu man and is considering repatriation of the remains.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed Justice Prathiba M. Singh that the Indian consulate in Jeddah has initiated legal proceedings in a Saudi court in this regard.

The Ministry made the submission in response to a petition by Ms. Anju Sharma, wife of Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, who passed away on January 24, 2021 at his workplace in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Kumar, who worked in Saudi Arabia for 23 years, died due to diabetes, hypertension and cardiac arrest and the mortal remains were kept in the Beesh general hospital, Jizan, Saudi Arabia.

On getting the information, Ms. Sharma and other family members of the deceased requested for the repatriation of the mortal remains.

“Shockingly, on February 18, the petitioner [Ms. Sharma] was informed that the body of her husband has been buried in Saudi Arabia while the family members were waiting for the mortal remains in India,” the petition said.

“The officials in the Indian consulate explained that it was due to a mistake committed by its official translator in Jeddah who wrongly mentioned his religion as ‘Muslim’ in the death certificate.

“They also shared a letter of apology tendered by the official translating agency of the consulate with the petitioner herein. It is pertinent to mention that the petitioner or any member of the family of the deceased has never given their consent to bury the body of Mr. Kumar in Saudi Arabia,” the petition said.

Subsequently, Ms. Sharma requested the officials of the consulate to request the local authorities to exhume and send the mortal remains to India for performing the last rites as per the faith of the family.

“Unfortunately, even after seven weeks of the death of the husband of the petitioner, the respondent [government] herein has failed to do necessary formalities to repatriate the mortal remains to India for performing the last rites,” the plea said.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 10:25:18 PM |

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