The Sydney Morning Heralds reports about an elderly Hindu man fighting to be allowed to have an open-air cremation in Britain took his case to London's High Court on Tuesday.

In a test case, 70-year-old Davender Ghai is appealing against a refusal to Newcastle City Council in northeast England to let him be cremated in accordance with Hindu tradition.

"As a Hindu, I believe my soul should be liberated in consecrated fire, 'Agni', after death - a sacramental rebirth, like the mythical phoenix arising from the flames anew," he said.

"I will not deny my claim is provocative, least of all in a nation as notoriously squeamish towards death as our own," added Ghai, who came to Britain from Kenya in 1958.

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