Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Law Commission of India to study the laws related to Autopsy: Role of MGIMS

               It is our privilege to share with you all that the Prime Minister Office has recently asked the Law Commission of India to study the laws related to Postmortem examination/ Autopsy (PM) in the country and to give a comprehensive report covering all aspects of criminal laws so that comprehensive amendments can be made in the various laws viz. Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act etc. related to PM examination.
This move comes on a detailed 82 page study report of MGIMS entitled "Constitutional Validity of Police Officials Existing Practice of Ordering Post-mortem Examination vis a vis 174 CrPC- A Cause of Concern" that was submitted in Dec 2015 to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and Shri Rajnath Singh- Union Home Minister through Dr BH Tirpude sir (Prof & HOD). Please click here to download full report.   
Not amending the 117 year old law (1898) has led to:
1.     Forcing untrained MBBS doctors to do postmortems.
2.     Unscientific, improper death investigation and incomplete PM reports- one of the reasons for low conviction rate.
3.     Unnecessary postmortems.
4.     Relatives’ facing tremendous difficulties for getting copy of PM report.
5.     Collection of various organs and even fetuses of pregnant lady for keeping in museum without any procedure.         
Suggestions: Like other countries our law should have following provisions:
a.      Autopsy, preferably to be done by forensic medicine expert.
b.     Police to decide whether to order dissection and extent of it in consultation with doctor.
c.      Strict measures to avoid unnecessary dissection of dead bodies.
d.     Provide the copy of PM report to relatives by doctor free of cost etc.
 Thank you all.
Lokmat Daily News Paper

Friday, July 29, 2016

Use of DNA evidence in Rape Cases- New Rules for POLICE- Role of MGIMS.

               It is our privilege to share with you all that, we could successfully implement another project that will help the police department to use DNA evidence in rape case effectively and properly. This Pilot Project is implemented successfully in Wardha under the leadership of Superintendent of Police- Shri Ankit Goyal.
               In a unique initiative, we will be in a process to implement the 11 year old law (164 A CrPC & 53 A CrPC) effectively.
               We have replaced the old police investigation formats with the new one drafted for proper and correct use of DNA evidence.
               We had submitted a detailed report to Home Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis for necessary action through Prof & Head Dr. BH Tirpude sir.
Materials studied to draft the said report:
1)  97 judgments delivered by High Courts of Maharashtra in 2010-2015. Out of 97, 54 cases occurred between 2005 to 2013. These cases include the cases of 26 districts of Maharashtra.
2)  Questions asked by the cops of 13 districts to FSL while forwarding biological evidence for analysis (Gondiya, Chandrapur, Pune, Snagali, Solapur, Wardha, Nagpur, Latur, Kolhapur, Yawatmal, Amravati Mumbai, Nashik).
Existing lacunae as per the Report:
1)  Semen was found on the victim’s clothes in 15% cases but DNA was NOT DONE in all the case i.e., 100% (Even those occurred after 2005 and upto 2013). Even, in 60% cases blood group was not done to match it with the accused.
2)  High Courts had observed that though semen was found on the cloths of the victim, no grouping or DNA was done, hence possibility of sprinkling of semen of other person on the cloths by police cannot be ruled out.
3) Though in some cases blood group of semen on victim’s clothes was determined but, police doesn’t prove the blood group of accused and also does not prove that the semen doesn’t belong to victim’s husband.
4)  Around 50% cases Blood group of the accused was also not determined.  
Reasons for the loopholes:

·       Inadequate & improper questions asked by the cops to FSL while forwarding biological evidence collected from the victim, crime scene and accused (Blood, Semen stains, cloths, hair fibres, condom etc) for chemical analysis.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Curtailing Unnecessary Post-mortems- Pilot Project at Wardha- Role of MGIMS- Wardha SP Ankit Goyal's Unique Decision

We are privilege to share with you all that after around one year of constant efforts we could successfully implement a project to curtail unnecessary/ avoidable post-mortems under the leadership of Wardha Superintendent of Police Shri Ankit Goyal.
For the first time in the country, we will be in a process to implement the 117 years old law (174 CrPC) properly and correctly. Present law (117 yrs old law) does not authorizes the police to order Post-mortem in each and every case reported to them. They have the said authority only when there is a doubt about the cause of death. But, unfortunately, the said law was never followed and implemented correctly all over the country since decades.       
The implementation of the project has been started from MGIMS Sevagram and then in step wise manner it would involve other autopsy centres of the Wardha district. For modified inquest format PLEASE CLICK HERE.


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 him 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.   
SUMMARY:
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:
  1. Unscientific, improper investigation and incomplete post-mortem reports- one of the reasons for low conviction rate.
  2. 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).
  3. Though, right to know the correct cause of death is fundamental right of the relatives (Law Commission), PM by Forensic Medicine experts mandatory.    
  4. Sensitive and; important death investigation by untrained police official.
  5. 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)         
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 Judgement.
Conclusion:

At present, police is legally NOT empowered to send the dead body for post-mortem examination & collection of organs without the consent of relatives. 

MGIMS develops unique Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) Software under HIS. He was given responsibility to coordinate this project by Dr. SP Kalantri (Medical Superintendent).


Friday, September 4, 2015

SUMMARY of Work done by him 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 he is associated with 4 Public Interest Litigations (PILs). Following policy reformation has been brought by him (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 him: He was invited by MCI for a meeting on 9th June 2014 to consider his 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 him to the MCI to consider the suggestions given by him to revamp the curriculum and regulation and 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 his STUDY REPORT. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
  • MH GOVERNMENTS Decision to COMPUTERIZE POSTMORTEM REPORTS: Move on PIL filed by him. 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 his Representation and 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 his Representation and 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 himPLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
  • PIL: Poor quality of Post-mortem services in country- HCs Notice in PIL filed by himPLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
  • Up-grade Emergency Medical Services: NHRCs direction to Union Govt- Move on his Study Report. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
  • New Developments: Developed unique “Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit” (CFMU) and  “Forensic Medical Software”. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
  • MUHS COMMITTEE to consider his suggestions: PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
  • He 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 his 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 his Report. State Ministry of Health and 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 hisPLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Take steps to establish Rape Crisis Centres across state: State Ministry of Health and 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 and 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 him.