Clarify norms to bury, cremate bodies of Covid victims: Karnataka HC to state



  • The Karnataka High Court asked the state government to clarify about permitting cremation or burial of bodies of those who died of Covid, without obtaining a death certificate. “The counsel appearing for the applicant, Bharat Punarutthana Trust, has expressed a concern.
  • His submission is that the guidelines issued by the State permit burial of the body of a Covid deceased, without obtaining a death certificate,” a special division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar pointed out, seeking clarification.
  • According to the revised norms on dead body management in the context of Covid issued by the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, the hospital or medical officer should issue the death certificate in prescribed format with test report, in case of interdistrict or inter-state transportation of Covid-confirmed or -suspected dead bodies.
  • As there have been requests from the deceased’s kin to allow cremation or burial on the land or at the farm house owned by the family, it was stated in the guidelines that it is prudent to swiftly dispose the body in a decentralised manner.


  • Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the State Executive Committee permits cremation or burial in the context of Covid-19 on the land/farm house owned by the family, said in the guidelines.
  • However, there was no clarity on mandating death certificate for cremation or burial of bodies in any place other than government or BBMP crematoriums or burial grounds. Meanwhile, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi and Additional Advocate General R Subramanya submitted that they will look into the matter and respond on May 20, 2021, the next date of hearing.


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