The Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur has instructed the Government of India not to give consent for the “burial of mortal remains of Udaipur resident Hitendra Garasiya in Russia, till the next date of hearing, else his families rights to perform obsequial rites of Hitendra Garasiya would be frustrated.”
The order was issued by the Honorable Court on 20 December, towards Civil Writ Petition 17077/2021 filed by Advocate Sunil Purohit on behalf of Petitioner Asha, the wife of deceased Hitendra Garasiya of Udaipur.
The Single Bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta further directed the Foreign Secretary to resolve the matter at diplomatic level, by requesting the External Affairs Minister, Government of India to intervene in the matter. The High Court bench noted that there was no response or representation from the Russian Government, on the notice served by the Rajasthan High Court in the matter pertaining to bringing the deceased’s body from Russia to India to perform the last rites. This notice was served on 15 December.
It has been five months since Hitendra Garasiya, a resident of Godwa village in Udaipur died in Russia (17 July). Congress leader Charmesh Sharma, who assists Indians in distress abroad, had lodged his representation with the President’s Secretariat and the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi when the deceased’s body was not sent to India. The NHRC had subsequently directed the Foreign Secretary to take up the matter at diplomatic level.
The deceased’ family has also staged a protest out Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 7 November, after the Indian Ambassador Venkatesh Verma replied that Russia has not given permission for the dead body to be sent to India. He further added that the deceased’s body will only be buried in Russia, instead of being permitted to perform the rites as per Hindu rituals. It was then that the petition was filed in the Rajasthan High Court on 4 December 2021.