The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the chief secretary, deputy general of police and other officials on a plea from the widow of Dr Simon Hercules, who died of COVID-19, seeking a direction to authorities to exhume the body and rebury it in a cemetery at Kilpauk here.
The petition came up before Justice M Duraisamy who also issued notice to the secretaries of Health and Family Welfare Department and commissioner of police, Chennai City. The judge directed authorities to file the counter affidavit and posted the matter to June 10.
Earlier, a division bench dismissed a PIL seeking the same relief, stating that the authorities had already rejected the wife’s request. However, it gave liberty to the bereaved family to approach the court challenging the rejection.
Earlier this month,the Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation had rejected the request and refused to exhume the body for reburial.
The doctor had succumbed to the coronavirus infection on April 19. The ambulance in which his body was carried was vandalised by some people who feared that the burial in Kilpauk cemetery may lead to the spread of contagion in the area.
Later, the body was taken to another crematorium and buried amid police security.