Walsall Council wins Muslim graves High Court battle
A Muslim man who said his human rights were breached by a council’s refusal to permit a marble edge around a grave has lost a High Court battle.
Atta Ul-Haq was refused permission to install the barrier on his father’s grave at Streetly Cemetery in Walsall.
He said his religion as a Barelvi Muslim forbade people walking over graves, but the council said its response was “sensitive”.
Mr Ul-Haq’s solicitor has said he plans to appeal the ruling.
Mr Ul-Haq had argued the council’s refusal to allow him to erect the 4in (10cm) raised edge breached his right to exercise his religion, as is enshrined in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council defended itself by saying it permitted “mounding of the graves” at the cemetery and that this is how Muslims normally inhibit people walking over them.
It also said it could not accommodate Mr Ul-Haq’s wishes without harming the rights of other Muslims.