Judge rules ban on open air cremations during pandemic was “unconstitutional”

Home*Cover Story*News

Judge rules ban on open air cremations during pandemic was “unconstitutional”

The High Court has found that Government’s temporary ban on open-pyre cremations for Covid-19 victims during the pandemic was unconstitutional and discriminatory towards Hindus for a period of time.

Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams yesterday ruled on a claim brought by a woman who said she was not allowed to fulfil her father’s final wish to be cremated at Waterloo.

Open-air cremations were banned from July 2021 to January 2022, with the state citing it as a measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Justice Quinlan-Williams reportedly said while the step was “good intentioned” it became unconstitutional after August 2021, since at that point, the reasoning given was debunked by other medical experts.

She added that the ban put an additional financial strain on relatives of the deceased, and breached the constitutional right to liberty, particularly for the Hindu community.