The family of a man who was buried at Woodcock Hill Cemetery in Rickmansworth were left distraught after they found out another body was buried on top of their loved one’s grave just days after his funeral.
Late Basheer Maghjee sadly passed away at the start of the pandemic last year and was laid to rest on March 27, 2020 at the Muslim section of Woodcock Hill Cemetery.
The site is administered by Three Rivers District Council but the Muslim section of around 700 graves is leased and looked after by BW Foundation, the charitable arm of the Salaam Centre based in Harrow.
Basheer’s nephew Monty Meghjee told RickyNews: “We found out that the grave had been opened up and an unrelated person buried on top of my uncle through gossip in the community.
“I couldn’t believe anybody would do this. A family member texted one of the trustees who confirmed it. The worst part is they had no intention of telling us.”
The cemetery’s leaseholders BW Foundation said the family signed a document agreeing to the two-tier burial system which was implemented in March 2020 in anticipation of increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family of Basheer Meghjee began legal proceedings against BW Foundation last summer but a High Court judge ruled against them as they had signed a document relating to the two-tier policy.
A spokesperson from Three Rivers District Council told RickyNews: “By way of a statement in response, we simply quote from paragraph 21 of the High Court judgment.
“Even on the claimant’s own evidence, his cousin, as his agent, signed the policy document which made clear that the defendant had the right to inter a second body above the claimant’s father’s body. There was no promise in that document to obtain the claimant’s agreement before a second burial would take place on the plot, or that only a family member would be interred above.”
Monty said: “The Council’s view on this is very legalistic, they have not shown any moral or ethical compassion at all. It was a complete oversight and it seems they have no remorse. There are empty plots at the cemetery, there was no need to do this.”
The BW Foundation was contacted for comment.