You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

PIL in HC against airlines' policy on repatriation of migrant Indian workers' mortal remains

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A petition has been moved in the Delhi High Court against the policy of several airlines, including Air India, that charge "exorbitant" rates for domestic transportation and repatriation of mortal remains of migrant Indian workers who die abroad.

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO sought guidelines be framed by the Centre for the same.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.

The NGO, Pravasi Legal Cell, has termed as "callous" the prevalent policy of weighing the mortal remains as mere cargo and fixing a rate according to the weight, saying it was "not only a gross inhuman practice but also violative of the dignity of the dead body".

The PIL, filed through advocate Jose Abraham, said transportation of mortal remains by air was always a "costly affair", especially for the poor migrant workers.

"It is thus submitted that in absence of any guideline for domestic transport of human remains and international repatriation of mortal remains, the airlines charge exorbitantly high rates for the same, thus burdening the poor families of the emigrant with huge expense.

"Due to financial constraints, relatives of the deceased were unable to take the body back to their native place and on several instances these migrant workers who die far from their home town are buried or cremated in a foreign land without their kith or kin being present," the plea said.

According to the petition, Air India charges 15 Dirhams per kg which comes to around Rs 300 a kg.

It claimed that the rates being charged would be "unbearable" to the unemployed Indian and low-paid workers, and a violation of their rights under the Constitution.

The NGO also alleged that some airlines have stopped flying the remains of disadvantaged Indian workers without freight charges, even if recommended by Indian missions.

"Instead, the bereaved will now have to get the costs of repatriating the mortal remains reimbursed from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), a critical support fund for distressed Indians set-up by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India," it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, October 05 2018. 18:30 IST