The Madras High Court on Thursday asked two forensic medicine experts to examine the body of Ilavarasan again to decide whether a fresh autopsy was required.
The Judges on Tuesday viewed the video of autopsy conducted in Dharmapuri in the presence of medical experts from JIPMER, Rajiv Gandhi Medical Hospital and three medical officers who conducted the autopsy along with V.Dekal, a forensic expert of the petitioner’s choice. While most of them opined that there was no need for fresh autopsy, Dr. Dekal differed from them.
The Bench, comprising Justices V. Dhanapalan and C.T. Selvam, was hearing arguments on the need of fresh autopsy and a counter view from the government side.
The Judges pointed out that the report of the post-mortem conducted in Dharmapuri was silent on whether there was any change in the skin texture. Of course, Dr. K. Thunder Chief, who headed the team that conducted the post-mortem examination, explained that if there were any such changes, they would have been mentioned in the report.
The Bench said: “In the circumstances, though we have no reason to suspect any wrongdoing in the conduct of the post-mortem, we are conscious that it is not the intention of the petitioner to pursue before us an unjust cause. It is a cry for justice by the downtrodden and the oppressed. Such cry should not go unheard and this court has to respond appropriately.”
The Judges directed K. Thangaraj, Head of Department of Forensic Medicine, SRM Medical College and Research Centre, Kattankulathur, and P. Sampath Kumar, professor of Forensic Medicine and Police Surgeon and Vice-Principal of Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Porur, to examine the body on Thursday, and form an opinion as to the likelihood or otherwise of any internal injuries.
The court said if they considered it likely, it would be open to them to conduct further clinical or surgical examination of the body. The doctors should submit a report of their findings on Friday 10.30 am. The body should be preserved until then.
R. Sankarasubbu, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the autopsy was completed hastily. The reports of doctors who saw the video recording revealed a number of defects.
However, S. Shunmugavelayudham, State Public Prosecutor, argued that the autopsy was conducted as per standard procedures enunciated in law. Dr. Dekal’s report could not be taken as conclusive. The kith and kin of the deceased were not before the court and it would set a bad precedent if the third person was allowed to intervene in the investigation.