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25 Supremo Amicus [1] (2021)

handle is hein.journals/supami25 and id is 1 raw text is: SUPREMO AMICUS

VOLUME 25 1 JULY, 2021

ISSN 2456-9704

By Abhay Pachauri
From Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim
Dead bodies and their cremation or burial are
given much importance in Indian culture
similarly as is done anywhere in the world.
This raises a serious concern when some dead
body gets mutilated or disfigured in recourse
to any act done over it. There is no law in the
Indian Penal Code which specifically takes
cognizance of the crime done against dead
body, especially to that of sexual acts.
The paper attempts to compare the non-
application of the existing penal laws (Ss.
297, 375 and 377) in the commission of
necrophilia over the dead body. It deals with
the definition, classification and reasons for
necrophilia, in reference to the status of the
dead bodies and their treatment in India. This
also includes the comparative study of
existing US Penal Law in various states
dealing with crimes against dead bodies. The
necessary  changes   which   could   be
incorporated in the criminal laws in India are
also suggested by the author with the
upcoming challenges.
Key Words: Necrophilia, Dead, Death,
Sexual Intercourse, Corpse
' Lawrence of Arabia (1962) film
2 Anton Chekhov, The Seagull (Stephen Mulrine tr,
Nick Hern Books Ltd 1997) 1, 17
3 Vanessa Barford, 'Margaret Thatcher and the taboo
of speaking ill of the dead' BBC News Magazine

An Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon,
used the Latin phrase 'De Mortuis, nisi
bonum, nil' to complete the mortuary phrase
in his poem Sunlight on the Sea. Similar
has been used in the late 19th and 20th
century in various cinematic' and theatrical
works2. The literal meaning of the Latin
phrase translates as 'Talk no ill of the dead'
or 'of the dead, say nothing but good'.
Though many may not agree with this
principle of conferring unnecessary privilege
upon the dead as they might not be worthy of
the same which was argued quite deeply in
Britain in 2013 on the death of its former
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.3 Still
there is a common parlance among numerous
cultures and traditions, which is, to respect
the dead bodies be it any rites related to
funeral. It is thought as immoral to treat the
dead bodies with disrespect. Respect is
intimately linked to morality. All good
qualities like honesty, wisdom, bravery,
kindness, fortitude, genius, etc. elicit respect.
It is this respect proposition which has found
its place in the customary principles of the
International Humanitarian Law which got
codified in different set of words within
various conventions and laws of international
stature and that of countries. Many relates to
war crimes, while the other ascribe to the
domestic ones.
The Indian Supreme Court in Pt. Parmanand
Katara, Advocate v. Union of India & Anr.4
has held in regard to a topic regarding method
(London,       9        April      2013)
accessed 10 November 2019> accessed at 17 May
4 [1989] SCR 3 997

PIF 6.242                                     www.supremoamicus .org

PIF 6.242


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