UK court allows Hindu-style funeral pyres


Prasun Sonwalkar

London, Feb 10 (PTI) In a landmark judgement, Davender Ghai, an Indian-origin social and religious leader today won his bid for the right to be cremated on a traditional open-air funeral pyre according to Hindu rituals.

Ghai, 71, has been campaigning on this issue for years and went to court seeking to overturn a 2006 Newcastle City Council decision forbidding him from being cremated according to his Hindu beliefs.

The council said that the burning of human remains anywhere outside a crematorium was prohibited under the 1902 Cremation Act.

In 2009, Ghai’s challenge was dismissed by the High Court, but that ruling has been overturned at the Court of Appeal today.

Ghai is the founder of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society based in Newcastle.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the pyre would be lawful after Ghai said it could include walls and a roof with an opening.