After medical experts gave conflicting opinions on the cause of Dharmapuri youth E. Ilavarasan’s death, the Madras High Court on Friday ordered a fresh autopsy by a team of forensic experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

The post-mortem examination will be done on Saturday and the body handed over to the Dalit youth’s father. The Bench, comprising Justices V.Dhanapalan and C.T.Selvam, directed the AIIMS Director to depute a team of three forensic medicine experts for the purpose of conducting the fresh autopsy on the body, which now lies at the mortuary of the Government General Hospital, Dharmapuri.

Ilavarasan was found dead near a railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4. A. Ramesh, his friend, filed a petition in the High Court for a direction to get the autopsy done by a team of doctors, along with a doctor of his choice.

The Public Prosecutor opposed the plea, contending that a post-mortem had been done and videographed. The Bench ordered that the body be preserved.

The judges viewed the video recording of the autopsy last Tuesday in the presence of seven medical/ forensic experts. As conflicting opinions arose among them, two more forensic medicine experts – K. Thangaraj of SRM Medical College and Research Centre, and P. Sampath Kumar of Sri Ramachandra Medical College – were directed to examine the body on Thursday. Mr. Justice Dhananpalan observed, “One has suggested that it was suicide while another has termed it otherwise.”

They noted that the two, who were only asked to find out whether a second post-mortem was needed, had “exceeded their brief”.

The Bench said: “We firmly express that we do not find any reason to suspect any wrongdoing in the conduct of the previous autopsy. Even so, when two experts appointed by us are at variance, it only would be appropriate to permit a second post-mortem. We add that the course we are adopting is not to be seen as any blemish upon the State.”

It felt that fresh autopsy be done by a team that is independent and neutral. Asking the registry to communicate the order to AIIMS, New Delhi, urgently, the court directed the State government to make arrangements for the travel and accommodation of the doctors

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