News By/Courtesy: Akanksha Dash | 24 May 2020 15:27pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • They were local residents.
  • The protest was ignited due to a rumour
  • Keeping mind the fact that they were just scared residents, the court allowed the bail application

The people who were arrested for opposing the burial of a doctor granted bail by the High Court of Madras.
Dr. Simon was undergoing treatment for heart and kidney failure and further was diagnosed with the COVID-19. He died in February and was taken by the authorities to be buried in ‘Kilpauk Cemetery.’
The petitioners along with many other residents of the locality marched to the place in question. It was an unlawful gathering keeping in mind the imposition S. 144 CrPC in that area. They “unlawfully gathered, protested, and refused to allow the burial of Dr. Simon’s body. Despite the Government officials and the police officials informed them about the promulgation of Section 144 as well as the directions issued by both the Central Government and the State Government about the protocol to be followed during Covid-19, they continued to protest and ultimately stalled the officials from burying the body of Dr.Simon. The officials were forced and chased away from the Kilpauk Cemetery. Thereafter, the body was taken to another burial ground for burial.”
The Counsel for the petitioners contends that the accused are residents and “not educated or worldly-wise.” And that news was spread among the residents that the body was being buried without taking proper precaution.  The believed this and apprehending the virus would spread and affect them and the other residents. It was submitted that “residents questioned the same and demanded clarification. But without giving any explanations, the Government Officials took away the body and the residents disposed of that place. Thereafter, several of the residents were wantonly picked up by the police and taken to the police station. When the petitioners questioned the same, they were also detained by the police and made as accused in this case.”
The Counsel for the respondent stated that these petitioners were preventing the officials from discharging their duty. They forced and chased away the officials. They were given proper explanations but they refused to reason with the officials. “Their acts are offensive.” The acts of the petitioners were recorded and verified through the CCTV footage and local inquiry. Two FIRs were then registered: one for protesting the burial and second for obstructions and damage of the vehicles committed by the protesters.
The Court said that these people were scared. And “if the authorities had informed in advance about the procedure of burial and the precaution measures followed by them, the residents’ apprehension about the spread of the virus would have been dispelled and such protest would not have occurred. Further the burial was at odd hours.”
Taking into consideration both the submissions and the nature of allegations and the period of incarceration, the court granted the bail.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 24 May 2020 20:06pm IST


Tags : bail, cemetery, coronavirus

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