Dominic Pereira, the 88-year-old NRI who died in the city on October 9, is likely to be buried here against his purported will to be buried next to his wife in Ottawa, Canada.
A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal against an order of a single judge bench refusing to direct the police to hand over the body to his caretaker, Mohammed Tanveer Ahmed.
Ahmed had claimed it was Pereira’s last wish to be buried in Ottawa.
According to the police, Pereira had returned to Mumbai after the death of his wife and two children in Ottawa. He owned two flats in Bandra.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice DY Chandrachud upheld the order of the single judge bench considering that Pereira had no relatives in Canada who could perform the last rites. The bench also considered the fact that nearly 20 days had passed since Pereira had died.
The single judge bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari had refused to issue orders to the Bandra police, who have kept the body at RN Cooper post-mortem centre, because of the dispute between Ahmed and his nephews, who wanted to perform his last rites.
Dharmadhikari had refused to grant relief to Ahmed saying the body could not be handed over to a third party when relatives are “coming forward”.
The judge directed the police to hand over the body to Ahmed in case the nephews fail to substantiate their claims regarding their relationship with the deceased by November 1.