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News – Court rejects pyre plea

June 2009

Court rejects pyre plea

 

A Hindu seeking the legal right to be cremated on an open-air funeral pyre has lost his appeal in London’s High Court.

     The 70-year-old from Newcastle-upon-Tyne was trying to overturn a 2006 decision by Newcastle City Council, which ruled that the traditional Hindu religious practice of funeral pyre burning was unacceptable in Britain.

     The High Court rejected Mr Ghai’s request to be allowed to die with dignity in what he claimed would be a good death. Instead it agreed that Newcastle City Council was correct in stating that the burning of human remains anywhere outside a crematorium was prohibited under the 1902 Cremation Act.

     Mr Ghai took his case to the High Court, invoking Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects religious freedom, and Article 8, which covers the right to private and family life. He has been granted the right to take his case to the Court of Appeal.

     Mr Ghai is currently receiving medical treatment in India but intends to continue his campaign until the end, in the hope that his ‘dying wish will not go unheard’.

 

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