Saturday, July 29, 2017

Indian body repatriation rules cause confusion again

Abu Dhabi: While the controversy on the repatriation procedures of mortal remains to India continues, two divergent positions have emerged on the issue from two different quarters of the Indian government.
As Gulf News reported on July 10, a circular issued by the airport health officer at Calicut Airport in Kerala recently tightened the repatriation procedures by asking for submission of all documents such as death certificates 48 hours before the arrival of the body.

This led to an uproar from Indian expatriates, mostly from the South Indian state of Kerala.
Social workers had said such conditions would cause at least two more days of delay in repatriation of the body and that had prompted the airport health officer later to reassure that the status quo would prevail.
Meanwhile, a senior parliamentarian told Gulf News on Thursday that the central government had assured him that the documents related to the repatriation could be submitted to the destination airport even 30 minutes prior to the departure of the aircraft carrying the body.
In a letter dated July 21, a copy of which is with Gulf News, issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi to N.K. Premachandran, Member of Parliament (MP) of Kollam constituency in Kerala, it was stated that the matter was taken up with the airport director at Calicut International Airport.

The assistant solicitor-general representing the Indian Government told the court that new rules are being framed, which would stipulate getting approval of the airport health officer 12 hours before bringing the body to India.
28/07/17 Binsal Abdul Kader/Gulf News