London, Jan.18 (ANI): A 71-year-old Brit Indian man has announced that he will take his legal battle for the right to be cremated on a traditional open-air funeral pyre to the Court of Appeal.
Spiritual healer Davender Ghai believes that a pyre is essential to "a good death".
The release of his spirit into the afterlife has been refused permission to be cremated according to his Hindu beliefs by Newcastle City Council.
Ghai, from Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, lost his challenge at the High Court in London in May last year when Mr Justice Cranston ruled that pyres were prohibited by law and this was "justified".
But the judge gave Mr Ghai permission to appeal and this case is due to be heard before a panel of three judges headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger.
Mr Ghai, the founder of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society (AAFS), seeks a permit for an open-air cremation site in a remote part of Northumberland. He wants a declaration that "natural cremation" is not unlawful under the Cremation Act 1902 and should be permitted under the religious freedoms protected by the Human Rights Act.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened to support Ghai's case.
"I want my soul to arise from the flames like the mythical phoenix, not be incinerated in an industrial furnace," the Daily Express quoted Ghai, as saying. (ANI)