NHRC directs officials to submit compliance report on pilgrim whose dead body was carried by garbage van

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], July 21 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu and the District Collector, Ramanathapuram district, to submit the compliance report along with the proof of payment of compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family members of a pilgrim deceased Ramamani Swain from Odisha, whose dead body was carried by garbage van.

Acting on a petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC sought the compliance report within six weeks.

Tripathy has alleged that the workers of Rameshwaram Municipality transported the body of a Ramamani, the deceased woman, in a garbage truck to the hospital, instead of arranging a proper vehicle to transport the dead body.

The norms and parameters of dealing with accident victims and human rights after death have been blatantly violated, Tripathy alleged.

The Commission sought a report from the District Collector, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu who submitted that one Ramamani Swain, wife of Meenaketan Swain belonging to Odisha, met with an accident before Ayothi cottage near Agnitheertham, Rameshwaram at about 7.45 AM on February 15, 2018, and succumbed to injuries on the spot.

In this connection, a criminal case has been registered in Rameswaram Town Police station. Since no appropriate vehicle was available to carry the corpse of the deceased at the time of the incident and considering the emergency situation, the body was taken in the trailer.

After considering the response from the State and rejoinder by Tripathy, the NHRC concluded that the human rights of the woman have been violated and next of kin of the deceased woman are entitled to the monetary compensation/relief for which the State of Tamil Nadu is vicariously liable to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation.

Subsequently, the District Administration as a matter of compliance sent a Cheque of Union Bank of India (UBI) bearing Cheque Number drawn in favour of Meena Ketan Swain for Rs 1 lakh in the address of Tripathy. But Tripathy as a good Samaritan and Activist filed the case without knowing the family of the deceased, therefore he requested the NHRC with the original cheque to ensure the payment through Tamil Nadu Government. Then, the State officials from Tamil Nadu Bhavan in Delhi also tried to intervene in the matter.

Tripathy stated "This is a case of dignity/Rights after death as the report of the State admits it. I have been fighting thousands of cases pro-bono and don't know them personally in most of the cases filed by me, yet successfully ensured justice through this Commission."

"In the instant case, the death case of the victims has been registered in Rameswaram Police Station. From the Police Records and medical post mortem reports, the name and address of the Next of kins can be easily found out", Tripathy said.

"The State Authority stated that the victim belongs to Patraj district of Odisha. However, in Odisha, there is no such district by this name. The deceased was accompanied by her husband and son. Therefore, it cannot be believable that the authorities fail to trace the real next of kin of the deceased", Tripathy added.

Pertinent to mention here that earlier also, acting on a petition filed by Tripathy, the NHRC ensured Rs 1 lakh compensation to the family members of a deceased journalist in Karnataka whose dead body was carried by garbage van on January 13th night, 2018, to the Government Hospital at Hanagal, Karnataka. (ANI)

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