New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Rajasthan government to pay Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of a deceased over a case of carelessness in keeping the dead body safely in the mortuary at a government hospital.
The Chief Secretary of the State has been asked to submit a compliance report.
"During the course of enquiry, the Commission found that the dead body of Janta Devi, who died due to drug reaction in the Government run Amrit Kaur Hospital, Beawar on January 11 in 2012, was not kept safely in deep freezer but was left on the autopsy table itself.
"Parts of her right ear and left eye were bitten by rats. One of the staff of the hospital was terminated from the service for his lapse and disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against the rest of the staff members," NHRC said in a statement.
Justice D Murugesan, Member of NHRC has observed that the word and expression `person` in Article 21 of the Constitution would include a dead person in a limited sense and that his right to life which included right to live with human dignity, will have an extended meaning to treat his dead body with respect.
"The state is obliged in law to keep the dead body in safe custody so that the family members of the dead person, who have the right to either bury or cremate the dead body with all the respects, can perform last rites with dignity which the dead body requires.
"The Commission takes this issue as a serious violation of human dignity of the dead body of the woman and infringement of the human rights of its relatives," the statement said.