Shraddha's father moves court for her body parts to perform last rites
The application moved by Advocate Seema Kushwaha on behalf of Vikas Madan Walkar said according to custom, the last rites had to be performed within a year
Shraddha Walkar's father Saturday moved an application in a city court seeking the remains of her daughter for cremation, saying tradition and culture required performance of her last rites.
Shraddha was allegedly strangled by her live-in partner Aaftab Amin Poonawala on May 18 last year, following which he sawed her body into pieces and kept them in a fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi's Mehrauli. He scattered them at different places in the national capital to avoid being caught.
During the court proceedings, the Delhi Police informed Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar that a reply will be filed on April 29.
The application moved by Advocate Seema Kushwaha on behalf of Vikas Madan Walkar said according to custom, the last rites had to be performed within a year and the last date for cremation based on the Hindu calendar is May 8.
Underlining that more than 10 months have gone by since her death, the application requested for conducting the proceedings fast so the bones and other body parts of the deceased could be exhibited and handed over to her family.
"The traditional belief in our country is that unless the last rites are performed, the soul of the deceased shall not rest in peace and this belief is deeply rooted...It also has an emotional and sentimental aspect. Hence, the family members of the deceased victim should not be deprived of the right to perform the last rites," the application said.
It said not providing a chance to perform the last rites would violate the fundamental rights of the deceased under Articles 21 (right to life) and 25 (freedom of free conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution.
The application referred to a 2009 judgment of the Allahabad High Court, according to which the word 'person' in Article 21 of the Constitution included a dead person in a limited sense and the right to life with dignity should be extended in such a manner that the dead body is given respect, which the person would have deserved, on being alive, subject to the professed tradition, culture and the religion and that the society should not be permitted to show any disrespect to the deceased.
"Right to a decent funeral can also be traced in Article 25 of the Constitution of India which provides for freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion subject to public order, morality and health and to the other fundamental rights ," the application said.