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Posts Tagged ‘hindu’

Hindu cremations in the Court of Appeal

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Davendar Ghai has won his case against Newcastle City Council in the Court of Appeal. We blogged about it previously here. It will now be possible for Mr. Ghai to be cremated on a Hindu funeral pyre – in a structure with walls but no roof – in England after he dies. Lord Neuberger in the judgment said that:

“Contrary to what everyone seems to have assumed below, and I am not saying it is anyone’s fault, it seems to us that Mr Ghai’s religious and personal beliefs as to how his remains should be cremated once he dies can be accommodated within current cremation legislation.”

The judgment is now available here.

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Ghai v Newcastle City Council in the Court of Appeal.

January 19, 2010 1 comment

“My loyalty is to Britain’s values of fairness, tolerance and freedom. If I cannot die as a true Hindu, it will mean those values have died too.”

In the UK, the Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the case of Davender Ghai (pictured left, centre), an elderly Hindu man who is challenging a decision of Newcastle City Council refusing permission for the construction of a site on which traditional Hindu funeral ceremonies could be celebrated. Such ceremonies involve the cremation of the deceased’s remains on an open-air funeral pyre, which is set alight by the eldest son or other appropriate relative. Mr. Ghai explains the ritual, which includes the breaking of the deceased’s skull, here. In 2006, Mr. Ghai was involved in the illegal Northumberland funeral rites of Rajpal Mehat, which included an open air pyre. The BBC reports with footage of the event here. The local police did not intervene and the Crown Prosecution Service determined that prosecution would not be in the public interest.The Council argues that the burning of human remains other than in a crematorium is prohibited by legislation. Mr. Ghai was unsuccessful in the High Court. The judgment of Cranston J is here and a shorter case note is available here.

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