Lawyers practising in Pune feel that the decision to presume missing victims of Uttarakhand floods dead will not curb confusions and instead cause legal issues in future.
Senior lawyer SK Jain said, “As per the thumb rule, the dead body of the person is needed to declare him dead. As per the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, if a person goes missing and the dead body is not discovered, civil death can be declared that only if the person is untraceable for at least seven years despite repeated attempts. In that case, the suit has to be filed in civil court which has powers to give the decision. In this particular case, the government might have taken the decision to declare the victims dead keeping the inference of the disasters in mind.”
Lawyer Milind Pawar said, “The decision is wrong and illegal. More than 500 people are missing. Declaring them dead may cause legal issues in future. Such issues may arise especially in case of any property disputes.”