Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Charity Is Warned on Pyres

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Charity Is Warned on Pyres

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

A race relations charity which held an open air funeral pyre was yesterday warned they could be prosecuted if they hold another ceremony.

The warning, from Northumbria Police, comes despite a decision by a High Court judge to hold a judicial review into the legality of the ceremony, organised by spiritual leader Davender Ghai, president of Newcastle charity the Anglo Asian Friendship Society.

On Friday, Mr Justice Sir Andrew Collins declared that the burning of bodies "is not necessarily unlawful".

He announced a full hearing should be held into the lawfulness of pyres in the public interest.

Northumbria Police have been investigating the legality of the pyre, despite giving it the go-ahead on the day, and warned any decision to hold a similar service could lead to a prosecution. However, Mr Ghai, who took personal responsibility for the pyre and lit it himself, insisted he had no regrets and revealed he would light another if asked. …

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