The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) has been granted permission to file a judicial review into the Government’s policy prohibiting open-pyre cremations for COVID-19 victims including Hindus.
Justice Nadia Kangaloo granted the SDMS leave to pursue legal action against the Minister of Health on Thursday with the first hearing scheduled for January 5, 2022.
The Maha Sabha is represented by attorneys Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Tacklalsingh, Stefan Ramkissoon and Rhea Khan.
Acting SDMS president Vijay Maharaj, in acknowledging the dangers posed by the COVID-19 virus and the urgent need for strict health protocols to be implemented, said the Hindu community was entitled to an explanation as to why open pyre cremations had been prohibited, in favour of indoor crematoriums.
Maharaj argued, “While indoor cremations are acceptable within the Hindu religion, and have been chosen method of disposal for some persons in the past, it has now become mandatory for all victims of COVID-19 who must be cremated according to Hindu rites.”
The SDMS head said the problem which had arisen and must be urgently addressed was, “The mounting cost of storage of dead bodies for days on end, as well as the cost of incineration as well.”
Maharaj said, “Families grieving for their loved ones would not have been so financially burdened if they were allowed to have open pyres instead.”