- Unscientific, improper investigation and incomplete post-mortem reports- one of the reasons for low conviction rate.
- Unnecessary post-mortems even though treating doctor is able to give the cause of death. Patient taking treatment in private hospital for natural disease condition (like cancer) and referred to government due to his bad condition or due to financial problems; and; dies shortly in government hospital then the case is informed to police. In such cases though adequate hospital record exist, unnecessary post-mortem is conducted on the orders of police).
- Though, right to know the correct cause of death is fundamental right of the relatives (Law Commission), PM by Forensic Medicine experts mandatory.
- Sensitive and; important death investigation by untrained police official.
- Relatives’ facing tremendous difficulties for getting copy of PM report. (It is legally mandatory for the doctor to give the report of medical examination of arrested person to him but not to the relatives)
Friday, December 18, 2015
Police has no legal power to send the dead body for dissection (Post-mortem) and collection of organs from it. No proper law has resulted into the conduction of unnecessary post-mortems (Full dissection of Dead Body) on the orders of police.
A 82 page report dated 15.12.15 and ; titled “Constitutional Validity of Police Officials Existing Practice of Ordering Post-mortem Examination vis a vis 174 CrPC- A Cause of Concern” has been submitted by Dr Indrajit Khandekar to Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Devendra Fadnavis (Chief Minister, Home and; Law Minister), Shri Rajnath Singh (Union Home Minister). Please click here to download full report.
Common perception of public, experts and; even doctors is that, police are legally authorized to send the dead body for post-mortem (PM- Dissection) examination and to collect 2-3 kgs of organs from the body without the consent of relatives of the deceased and doctors are performing the said work on this order of police. But, this perception is legally totally wrong. Indian criminal procedure code (174 CrPC) doesn’t authorize the police for the same and even has nowhere used the word ‘post-mortem’ and ‘viscera’ like other 40 countries. Section 174 (3) authorizes police to send the dead body for ‘examination’ only but does not authorize to do that by using reasonable force i.e., without consent of relatives.
Complete dissection of a dead body is mutilation of it and if there is no provision in the law to do it without the consent of relatives then it is the infringement of the rights of bereaved family of the deceased and said violation without the procedure established by law is unconstitutional under article 21 of Constitution of India. (In 1995 Supreme Court extended the provisions of article 21 to dead person in Parmanand Katara case).
Except India, Pakistan and Bangladesh there are very good laws in around 40 countries/ states for promoting effective and scientific death investigation.
As per the Indian law there is no authority to police to do medical examination of any victim without his/her consent. As per Bombay High Court (in Anil Lokhande case-1981) there was no authority to police to do examination of accused without his consent in old law till law was amended by introducing section 53 CrPC. Even, Supreme Court (In Ram Babu Misra- 1980) refused to grant permission to state police to take the specimen writing of the accused on the ground that there was no provision in the law to take it without his consent; then how one could do the COMPLETE DISSECTION of the dead body and collect 2-3 kgs of ORGANS from the body without consent of relatives even when there is no provision in the law for the same.
Not amending the 117 year old law (1898) lead to:
Suggestions: To invite the suggestions from the police & other concerned department, public, legal experts, judges, NGOs, Bar Councils, forensic science experts, Forensic Medicine Experts and associations of forensic medicine, etc while drafting the law in this regard.
Like other countries our law should have following provisions:
a. Police to decide whether to order dissection and extent of it in consultation with doctor.
b. Strict measures to avoid unnecessary dissection of dead bodies.
c. Post-mortem, preferably to be done by forensic medicine expert
d. Authority to relative to challenge the decision of dissection of dead body even if treatment record is available.
e. Provision to provide the copy of PM report to relatives by doctor free of cost.
f. Death investigation by police specially trained in scientific death investigation.
g. Rule to maintain the dignity of dead body while transporting and during PM.
Materials studied to draft this report: Law commissions 9 report related to CrPC, CrPC applicable since 1861, 1898 and new CrPC, Coroner Act of India, Bombay, 42 Countries laws related with death investigation. Information collected through RTI, Supreme Court & High Court Judgment.
At present, police is legally NOT empowered to send the dead body for post-mortem examination & collection of organs without the consent of relatives.
Friday, September 4, 2015
SUMMARY of Work done by me especially role played in policy reformation. For details plz click on the link given under each title in summary OR you can scroll down & may click individual post.
Till date I am associated with 4 Public Interest Litigations (PILs). Following policy reformation has been brought by me (For details of each including government GRs/ Circular/ Formats etc you may please click the individual post):
- MCI REVISED GME (Graduate Medical Education) Regulation- FMT SUBJECT: CHANGES DONE ON Hon'ble HCs ORDER (JUNE 2014) in PIL filed by ME: I was invited by MCI for a meeting on 9th June 2014 to consider my suggestions to revamp the curriculum/ syllabus of Forensic Medicine Subject. Out of 18 suggestions around 16 were accepted. This move came on Honble Bombay High Court- Nagpur Bench’s direction (in PIL filed by me) to the MCI to consider the suggestions given by me to revamp the curriculum & regulation & minimum standard requirement related to subject of Forensic Medicine. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
- MH Governments NEW GUIDELINES for forensic medical examination of sexually assaulted cases: Move on PIL filed ON MY STUDY REPORT. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- MH GOVERNMENTS Decision to COMPUTERIZE POSTMORTEM REPORTS: Move on PIL filed by me. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- MH Governments Decision to BAN three decades old practice of unnecessary collection of semen sample of rape accused: Move on MY Representation &Study Report. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- MH Governments Decision to STOP the practice of asking unscientific, irrational and illegal questions to doctors by POLICE while examining rape victim: Move on MY Representation & Study Report. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- Department of Health Research (DHR) & ICMRs Guidelines for “Forensic Medical Care for Sexual Assault Victims”: Role Played by ME. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- PIL: Poor quality of Post-mortem services in country- HCs Notice in PIL filed by ME. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- Up-grade Emergency Medical Services: NHRCs direction to Union Govt- Move on MY Study Report. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- New Developments: Developed unique “Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit” (CFMU) & “Forensic Medical Software”. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- MUHS COMMITTEE to consider MY suggestions: PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- Received "CHOUTHA STAMBH AWARD" of Shramik Patrakar Sangh on 06.01.2015 for the work done highlighted above at Number 1 to 10. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- Home Department orders study of Unnecessary Post-mortems: Move on my study report. Previously State Assembly Question was filed on this report: A Plea to end "Abattoir style Post-mortems. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
- Set up Rape Crisis Centre across State: State Health Ministry to director Public Health- Move on my Report. State Ministry of Health & Family Welfare recently asked director public health to take steps to establish Rape Crisis Centres (RCC) across state by taking cognizance of the report submitted by me. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Take steps to establish Rape Crisis Centres across state: State Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to director public health.
Taking efforts to convince the Maharashtra Government including Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis to develop Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit (CFMU) with Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) in hospital across the state. State Ministry of Health & Family Welfare recently asked director public health to take steps to establish Rape Crisis Centres (RCC) across state by taking cognizance of the report submitted by me.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Home Department orders study of Unnecessary Post-mortems: Move on my study report. Previously State Assembly Question was filed on my report: A Plea to end "Abattoir style Post-mortems.
Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Choudhary (elected from Shivadi in Mumbai) has raised question in the state Assembly on my study report on “unnecessary postmortems” and MLA has asked what action did the Chief Minster took on the study report submitted by me. Now, Maharashtra Government has come into action and I hope that the issue of unnecessary postmortems would be resolved soon. I had submitted a report to Prime Minister Shir Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis in Dec 2015 highlighting that Lacks of Unecessary post-mortem examination carried out on request of police are turning mortuaries into "production-line abattoirs".PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Bombay High Court- Nagpur bench has issued notice on 01.10.2014 to Central and State Health & Home Ministry, and MCI on PIL filed by me (entitled Dr. Indrajit Khandekar Vs. Union of India & Othrs- PIL No.30/2014) highlighting the Poor quality of Postmortem services in country. I most humbly request you all, to give your valuable inputs/ suggestions so that it could be brought before hon’ble high court during subsequent hearings of this PIL. For a detailed study report entitled "Forensic Medical Postmortem Services in Country- A cause of concern" that was submitted by me to authorities in Sept 2013, on which this PIL is based and for various prayers/ suggestions and other details PLEASE CLICK HERE.