Taking a serious note of the importance of medico-legal case (MLC) done by hospital authorities during investigations, especially in cases of injury where criminality is involved, a local court has directed Delhi government to look into the matter of pictorial illustrations of the injuries to be provided by the hospitals during an investigation.
The court has also asked the government to issue the “necessary advisory” to those concerned.
Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain has directed the health and welfare department of Delhi government to look into the matter related to the format of the MLC, during the medical examination conducted by the hospital authorities, depicting the diagrams of human figures illustrating the exact body part the injuries are present.
“I would like to highlight that format of MLC has also depiction of diagrams of human figures on the reverse. These are perhaps meant to illustrate the exact body part where the injuries were given but these diagrams are rarely filled by any hospital…It is hoped that health and family welfare department would look into the matter and would issue necessary advisory to the quarters concerned,” Jain observed.
The directive comes in a murder case where the sessions court convicted one Harpal Singh of Northwest Delhi to life imprisonment for murdering his wife.
In the present case, the police had registered a prima facie case of murder on the basis of the statement of an eyewitness.
She had stated that the deceased had an heated argument over the issue of her accused husband’s drug addiction problem.
The tiff reportedly infuriated the accused, who took out a knife from his jacket and gave the victim blows on the neck and head. The woman succumb to the injuries, while she was being bought to the hospital and an MLC was prepared by the hospital authorities.
During the trial, the prosecution had heavily relied upon the eye-witnesses’ testimony. However, during her deposition before the court, she disowned the prosecution version.
After this, the court had to heavily rely on circumstantial and scientific evidence, especially the medical evidence stating the nature of injuries.
After examining the MLC, the court concluded that the “injuries in question were possible from the chopper recovered at the instance of accused”.
It is in the context of examining medical and scientific evidence that the court has observed that the MLC is “meant to illustrate the exact body part where the injuries were given but these diagrams are rarely filled by any hospital”.
“It is an important aspect as pictorial illustrations can prove to be very handy and can give virtual feeling and insight to any court to appreciate the injuries and their nature in context of any given case. Therefore, any such attending doctor should invariably indicate and illuminate on such sketch diagram, the body part which had received the injuries,” the court added, while directing the secretary of the concerned department to look into the issue.