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Delhi riot: HC asks hospitals to Videotape autopsies

The court's direction to the Delhi Police came after a man moved a habeas corpus petition seeking direction to produce his brother-in-law, Hamza (25), missing since February 26.

Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi |
March 7, 2020 2:47:44 am
Delhi riot, Delhi HC, Videotape autopsies, delhi news, indian express news A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice I S Mehta also directed all hospitals to collect and preserve DNA samples of the dead. (File photo)

The Delhi High Court Friday directed all hospitals under the central and Delhi governments to videograph post-mortems of all persons killed in Northeast Delhi. The death toll from the riots stands at 53, with over 300 injured.

A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice I S Mehta also directed all hospitals to collect and preserve DNA samples of the dead. The bench further directed government hospitals not to dispose of any unidentified bodies till the next date of hearing, March 11.

“In the meantime, government hospitals in Delhi under the aegis of both the central government as well as the state government are directed to collect DNA samples from all bodies lying in their mortuaries and preserve the same… further to conduct videographed post-mortem of all the dead bodies lying in their respective mortuaries,” the bench said.

The court’s direction to the Delhi Police came after a man moved a habeas corpus petition seeking direction to produce his brother-in-law, Hamza (25), missing since February 26.

Following the petition in the High Court Thursday, Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, appearing for the Delhi Police, Friday informed the court that the body of Hamza was recovered by the Delhi Police from a drain at Bhagirathi Vihar, within the jurisdiction of Gokalpuri police station on March 2.

Mehra also told court that the post-mortem was conducted at RML hospital Friday.

Mehra further submitted that “upon the conduct of the said post-mortem, the body will be released forthwith to the family members, for the performance of his last rites.”

While listing the matter for further consideration, the bench recorded in its order, “Before we part with this order, we express our appreciation for the alacrity with which the concerned DCP and SHO of the concerned police station have responded in these proceedings.”

DCP (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya submitted in the court: “As per the direction issued by the court, the details of all the unidentified bodies, which are lying in the various hospitals mortuaries, along with their photographs and other details are being published.”

“Details of all unidentified bodies have already been uploaded on the ZIPNet. Further during post-mortem, if required, DNA samples will be preserved,” the DCP said through the status report filed in the High Court.

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