In efforts to repatriate the mortal remains of a Hindu migrant who was inadvertently buried in Saudi Arabia, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is scheduled to meet with the Saudi Arabian Foreign Affairs Ministry next week. A power of attorney has also been sought to initiate legal proceedings in Saudi Arabia, the Delhi High Court was told today.
Justice Prathiba M Singh, in turn, has posted the matter for further hearing next week, on April 15 for a status update. The Judge also indicated that she may appoint a lawyer who deals in such matters as an Amicus Curiae in the case next week, if required at that point.
On April 12, a meeting will be held with the Saudi Arabian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Advocate Vishnu Kumar Sharma submitted today. He added that the MEA has also sent reminders on the issue to the Saudi Arabian embassy at Delhi. It was informed via phone that some information is awaited from Saudi Arabia, he added.
The Court was further informed that as soon as power of attorney is received, the legal process would be started in Saudi Arabia. Justice Singh directed the Consulate officials and the MEA to continue with their efforts in the matter and adjourned the case for a status report on April 15.
The petition has been moved by the deceased man’s wife.
The petitioner was told by the officials in the Indian Consulate that due to a mistake committed by the official translator, the religion of the husband was wrongly mentioned as ‘Muslim’ in the death certificate, leading to the confusion and burial of his dead body.
Thereafter, the petitioner requested officials of the Indian Consulate in Jeddah to ask the local authorities to exhume the mortal remains of her husband.
Unfortunately, even after seven weeks of his death, the Consulate failed to complete the formalities to repatriate the body for the performance of last rites, prompting the petitioner to move the High Court.