07/10/2022 09:51

How will you deal with arbitrarily digging graves and picking up the remains in Vietnam?

How will you deal with arbitrarily digging graves and picking up the remains in Vietnam?

Graves are places to bury the body and remains of individuals, which is considered one of the cultural features of the Eastern people, expressing the beliefs and spirituality of the Vietnamese people. Therefore, the law also has provisions to protect the graves of individuals, as well as sanctions for those who intentionally infringe upon the graves. So how will the act of arbitrarily relocating the graves and picking up the remains will be handled?

Infringing upon bodies, graves and remains is defined as acts of digging, breaking graves, appropriating objects to be kept in graves, on graves or committing other acts of infringing upon bodies, graves or remains.

Specifically, in judgment No. 36/2019/HS-PT dated May 7, 2019 on the crime of trespassing on bodies, graves and remains by the People's Court of Ben Tre province for appellate trial:

“In early 2016, T's parents asked Mrs. Le Thi B (Mr. H's wife, also T's biological aunt) to unload and move Mr. H's grave so that T could use the land to build a house, but Mrs. B's family did not agree, so the People's Committee of Ward P instructed T to file a lawsuit to the People's Court of City B. However, T did not initiate the lawsuit, but on May 19, 2017 of the lunar calendar, T asked Mr. T to hire Mr. Nguyen Van H1 and a person named D (whose identity is unknown, hired by Mr. H) to dig the grave, pick up Mr. H's remains, and bring them to the T box camp in Ward 5, City B, to burn the ashes. Then, Mr. H1 handed over the jar containing Mr. H's ashes to T and T brought Mr. H's urn and sent it to V pagoda in town C, district C, Ben Tre province. About 7/2017, Ms. Pham Cam V (son of Mr. H) discovered that T had arbitrarily removed Mr. H's bones, so she made an application to the Investigation Agency - Police of City B to request criminal handling of T ".

With the above behavior, at the first instance judgment of the People's Court of City B, Ben Tre province declared Le Diem T guilty of "invading the body and grave of the remains". Applying Clause 1, Article 246 , Points h and p, Clause 1, Article 46; Article 33 of  the Criminal Code 1999 amended and supplemented 2009; sanctioning defendant Le Diem T for 6 months is in accordance with the law, not unjust or wrong. However, on February 26, 2019, defendant Le Diem T appealed to the Court of Appeal to consider mitigating the penalty at the lowest level of the law the defendant was prosecuted.

In the above case, Defendant Le Diem T's behavior was too impulsive, he was instructed by the People's Committee of Ward P to initiate a lawsuit to the People's Court of City B for settlement. However, T did not agree, but T arbitrarily hired a gravedigger, picked up the remains, burned the ashes, and brought them to V temple to use the land to build a house. Comparing the work of Mr. T 's family with the provisions of law, there are enough elements to constitute the crime of infringing upon graves, bodies and remains.

Crime of trespassing on graves, corpses and remains is one of the crimes that was specified very early in the Criminal Code 1985 with the designation Article 204. Crime of trespassing on graves and remains. Until the Criminal Code 1999 amended and supplemented in 2009, the crime of infringing upon bodies, graves and remains is specified in Article 246 and in the 2015 Criminal Code, this crime is specified in Article 319.

According to the provisions of Article 246 of the Criminal Code 1999, amendments and supplements to 2009 as well as Article 319 (Criminal Code 2015).

Article 246. Interfering with human corpses, graves and/or remains (The Criminal Code 1999, amended and supplemented 2009)

  1. Those who dig and/or destroy graves or tombs, appropriate objects left therein or thereon or commit other acts of interference with human corpses, graves or tombs and/or remains, shall be sentenced to non-custodial reform for up to one year or between three months and two years of imprisonment.
  2. Committing the crime and causing serious consequences, the offenders shall be sentenced to between one and five years of imprisonment.

Article 319. Infringement upon human bodies, graves or remains  (Criminal Code 2015)

1. Any person who commits grave robbery or otherwise infringes upon a dead body, grave or human remains shall face a penalty of up to 02 years' community sentence or 03 - 24 months' imprisonment.

2. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 02 - 07 years' imprisonment:

a) The offence has a negative impact on social security, order or safety;

b) The offence involves appropriation or destruction of historically or culturally valuable items;

c) The offender is committed by despicable motives;

d) The offence is for the purpose of taking part of the body or remains.

Crime of infringing upon bodies, graves and remains is a crime of infringing upon the order and safety of the dead bodies, graves and remains and thereby infringing upon customs, practices and traditions. of the Vietnamese people.

In addition to the issue of criminal liability, the act of infringing upon graves and remains must also bear civil liability. Specifically, according to the provisions of Article 607 of the Civil Code 2015 of Vietnam as follows:

Article 607 of the 2015 Civil Code provides for compensation for damage caused by trespassing on graves

1. Each natural person or juridical person causing damage to the grave of another must compensate.

2. Damage caused by infringement of a grave shall include reasonable costs for mitigating and remedying the damage.

3. A person causing damage to a grave must pay an amount of money as provided in Clause 2 of this Article together with another amount of money as compensation for mental suffering of the closest relatives in the first line of succession to the deceased. If there are no such relatives, this sum shall be paid to the persons who directly reared the deceased. The amount of compensation for mental suffering shall be as agreed by the parties; if the parties are not able to agree, the maximum sum for each damaged grave shall not exceed ten-month base salary prescribed by the State.

Acts of infringing upon bodies, graves and remains are immoral acts, affecting the spiritual and spiritual matters of the relatives of the deceased. Therefore, even if it is an individual's property, before doing something, it is necessary to consider and find out clearly to avoid painful things happening and suffering the consequences.


Nhu Y

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