The Russian government has agreed to exhume and hand over the body of Hitendra Garasia from Rajasthan, who was in Moscow under work visa but was found dead in a park there, a court here was informed on Wednesday.
Justice Dinesh Mehta issued directions that once the body is received from the Russian government, the Centre and the Rajasthan government will make all endeavours to ensure that it reaches the family members at their village Godwa in Udaipur at the earliest.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General R D Rastogi informed the court citing the communique by the Russian government to the Indian Embassy that due to winter vacation in Russia, the body could not be handed over to the authorised agent. “It is assured that the same will, however, be done at the earliest and the mortal remains of the deceased will be handed over to the assigned agent within a period of 2 to 3 days”, Mr Rohatgi told the court.
Mr Garasia had gone to Moscow under a one-year work visa but was found dead in a park there last July.
Since the Russian government decided not to hand over the body and bury it there, the family members of the victim had knocked on all the doors including the high court to arrange for transport of the body to India for the last rites.
Mr Garasia’s wife Asha Devi had moved the high court with a prayer to issue appropriate orders to the Indian government to arrange for providing the body to the family.
Mr Rastogi submitted that according to the Russian government, as the family of the deceased did not turn up to claim the body, it was buried in the cemetery in Moscow on December 3 last year.
He assured that on the persuasion of the officials of the Indian government/embassy stating that according to customs, the body is required to be cremated and not buried, the investigative committee in Russia has agreed to exhume the body and hand it over to the mortuary.
Upon completion of the requisite formalities and procedure, the body has been decided to be handed over to the authorised person, he said.
The court also issued notice to the state government on the plea of Mr Rohatgi seeking directions to the Rajasthan government to make the necessary arrangements for handing over the body to the family members.
It also said that the body shall be brought to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, whereafter it will be the responsibility of the Rajasthan government to ensure that it reaches the petitioners.
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