Exhumation is the term used when human or cremated remains are to be moved. The word Exhumation comes from the Latin and means in a very narrow sense “from the ground”.

Exhumations are generally rare. They cannot happen without having the necessary legal authorisation. It is important to point out that it is unlawful to disturb any human remains (this also includes any cremated remains) without first obtaining the necessary lawful authority. A situation may arise that means the remains of someone you care about needs to be removed from their grave or burial plot.

There are many reasons why this might arise, it maybe that the families make a request for personal reasons. The relatives may wish to change from the original grave to another family plot in the same or different cemetery abroad. There could be a request for repatriation overseas to be buried in a family vault. It could even be a change from burial to cremation as a mode of disposal. Arrangements may take a very long time to finalise and it may entail a lot of official procedures, and rules and regulations.

Bodies may be exhumed provided the required permits are obtained from the local magistrate. A statement/formal request from foreigner or their respected Embassy overseas is required to accompany the request for exhumation to indicate if the remains are being exhumed for reburial or cremation. ISAPL assists with Exhumation requests by coordinating with local authorities/ Embassies/ Government office in India. We acquire the necessary permissions from the local office.

The prospect and experience of an exhumation of interred (buried) remains of a deceased person can often be a very difficult time for the family and friends of the deceased person. It is only in strict circumstances that exhumation occurs. At all times during the process, due regard for respect to the deceased person and privacy for the family and friends of the deceased person is protected.

Exhumation of interred remains might be required in below situations:

When a court orders an exhumation as part of a criminal investigation

For public health reasons (e.g. if a graveyard or cemetery is being moved)

For family reasons (if the family of the deceased person requests that the remains be moved to another burial ground or other part of the country, abroad, etc.).

Exhumation can a very expensive decision. Not only will there be the cost of the exhumation itself, but other costs relating to exhumations could be:

  • Exhumation Permission paperwork
  • Court Permission fees
  • Funeral directors charges which will include new coffins/Urns
  • Cemetery fees and charges
  • Re-burial costs
  • Transportation charges if in different States/Cities

If you need more detailed advice you may call ISAPL 24X7 Hotline number at +91-011-46594412.

ISAPL assisting with exhumation request from CANADA

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