Updated: October 26, 2018 9:49:53 pm
Within hours of the Uttarakhand High Court ordering AIIMS Rishikesh to handover the body of environmentalist and Ganga activist Professor GD Agrawal to Haridwar-based Matri Sadan ashram for 72 hours “to enable his followers to pay last homage and also to perform religious ceremonies as per Hindu Religion,” the Supreme Court Friday put a stay on the order.
Agrawal had died at AIIMS Rishikesh on October 11, the 112th day of his fast-unto-death for the cause of Ganga. Agrawal’s body, which was to be donated to AIIMS Rishikesh as per his last wishes, remains in the medical college, depriving his followers of paying their final tributes.
On Friday, a Division Bench of the Uttarakhand High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari said in an order: “We are of the considered view that the followers are entitled to have the last Darshan of the body of Agrawal also remembered as Swami (Gyan Swaroop) Sanand.”
The high court ordered that Agrawal’s body be handed over to the Matri Sadan ashram where, on June 22 this year, he had begun the fast-unto-death for the conservation of the river Ganga. The court further ordered the body to be handed over “after embalming and preserving it in ice to enable his followers to pay their last homage and also to perform religious ceremonies as per Hindu religion.”
However, within hours of the high court order, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Madan B Lokur, in an order said: “The order of the (Uttarakhand) High Court, if implemented, will make the organs of the deceased whose body has been embalmed in AIIMS, Rishikesh unfit for being transplanted to other human beings. In view of the above, we deem it proper to stay the order of the High Court.”
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