Court rejects outdoor funeral pyre request

The High Court has refused a devout Hindu's request to be cremated on an outdoor funeral pyre after his death.

Davender Ghai challenged Newcastle city council's 2006 refusal to allow him to be cremated outside. Today, the High Court said burning human remains outside a crematorium is illegal and that the law prohibits open-air pyres.

Seventy-year-old Ghai told an earlier hearing that a funeral pyre would give him a good death and release his spirit into the afterlife.

Ghai's lawyers had argued that the ban on pyres was inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.