A death certificate is a government-issued document outlining the reason for death, the place of death, the time of death, and other personal details of the deceased. Officials from the government may require the death certificate to examine the cause of death during investigations to see whether foul play was involved. As per the Registration of Births & Deaths Act, 1969 it is mandatory to register the death of the deceased with the concerned Government, State, or Union Territories within twenty-one days of the occurrence of the death of the deceased. If a death occurs at a government hospital, a private hospital, a nursing home, or a medical institution, the director of the institution must notify the appropriate registrars within 21 days of the death. If a death occurs at home, it is the obligation of the family's head of household other family members to notify the sub-registrars within 21 days. The need for a death certificate is as follows:
· To legally establish the fact of the death of the deceased,
· To release the deceased from all social, official, and legal obligations,
· For the purposes of settlement of property (inheritance).
· To authorize the family of the deceased to avail life insurance and other benefits of the deceased.
Process when the death of the deceased is not registered within 21 days is as follows:
If a death is not registered within 21 days of its onset, the registrar or area magistrate must provide authorization, as well as the late registration fee is required to be paid.
· Deaths that occur after 21 days but within 30 days of the date of death can be filed for a late charge of INR 2.
· Only with the written approval of the registrar and payment of INR 5 may death be recorded after one month but within one year of its occurrence.
· Deaths reported after one year of occurrence can be registered with the area magistrate, i.e. SDM, first-class magistrate, or presidency magistrate, on payment of a late fee of INR 10 to the area magistrate.
List of documents required to file the death of the deceased:
· An application form is to be filled at first which is available with the local bodies e.g. Nagar Nigam or the registrar who maintains the register of deaths,
· Proof of birth of the deceased,
· An affidavit might also be required to be filed specifying the date and time of death,
· A copy of the ration card,
· The required fee in the form of court fee stamps.
Note: The place of registration of the death of the deceased would be the same as the place of occurrence of the death. For e.g. If the death of the deceased has occurred in Dehradun, then it would only be registered with the concerned local/state authorities and not in Mumbai.
How is the Death Certificate obtained:
After the death of the deceased has been registered the Death Certificate of the deceased can be obtained by simply giving a written application to the concerned area registrar or sub-registrar giving the following details:
· Father's Name
· Mother's Name
· Place of death
· Date of death
· Sex i.e. male or female
· Name of hospital/nursing home/medical institutions
· Residential address in case of domiciliary death
The Certificate is issued by the local bodies of the concerned state for e.g. Municipal Corporation etc. or the cantonment board of the concerned city/state and is issued within 4 to 7 working days of the receipt of the application from the applicant only if the death has been previously registered.