No5’s de Mello represents prisoner granted relief to act as chief mourner at funeral

Ramby de Mello from No5 Chambers, instructed by Stuart Luke of Bhatia Best Solicitors, has represented a Hindu prisoner who was granted interim relief to attend his father’s funeral free of handcuffs and to be able to participate fully as chief mourner.

The claimant was given permission to attend the funeral, on the condition that he was accompanied by two wardens and handcuffed. This meant he would be unable to participate in any Hindu last rite rituals, including acting as chief mourner, which by Hindu tradition is the deceased’s eldest son.

The claimant, who was serving a sentence for non-payment of a confiscation order at HMP Oakwood in Wolverhampton, issued judicial review proceedings after being denied permission to be released on temporary licence on the basis that he posed a low risk of absconding.

Mr Justice Leggatt held that denying the Hindu prisoner permission to attend the funeral was in clear breach of articles 8 and 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It was ordered that the claimant’s application for urgent interim relief is granted.