HC asks surgeons to conduct autopsy as per guidelines

Madurai: The Madras High Court has asked surgeons to conduct autopsy on bodies following the guidelines laid down by renowned authors such as Modi, Coax, Tailor and Narayan Reddy on medical jurisprudence.

Surgeons should not issue certificates bereft of details, Justice T Mathivanan said ordering re-investigation by a DSP into the death of a 24-year-old man, who was found hanging from a tree under SIPCOT police station limits in Krishnagiri district on March 1, 2010.

A Sub inspector had concluded the death to be a case of suicide and filed a final report stating further action was dropped.

The man's father, S Krishnan had moved the High Court alleging that his son had been murdered by a six member gang and that he had seen them stack two bodies inside a dilapidated building. Police did not investigate the matter despite his representation to the SP, he alleged.

The Judge said the SI failed to consider several material facts. No investigation was done to trace the owner of the sari used for hanging. Three empty liquor bottles, plastic tumblers, water packets and cigarette packets found near the body were also recovered.

"On perusing the observation of Mazhazar, rough sketch and photographs, two important medico legal questions arise whether the death was caused by hanging: whether hanging was suicidal or homicide," the judge said.

"A doctor who conducts the postmortem has the responsibility to answer these questions. But, a reading of the post mortem certificate issued in this case on March 1, 2010 does not have any details as required in medical jurisprudence," the court said.

"The doctor has not even chosen to say as to whether the ligature mark found around the neck was ante-mortem or post mortem. The doctor has not evinced much interest to examine the sub-cutaneous tissue and the skin underneath the ligature mark by way of layer-by-layer dissection," the judge said.

"Similarly the police officer who conducted the investigation has not taken interest to cut and remove the knot and preserve it to be given to the doctor who conducted the post mortem," the judge said.