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Govt, AIIMS under HC fire for delay in autopsy report

Earlier this week, the court had taken suo motu cognisance of the issue following Nido’s death.

New Delhi |
February 8, 2014 12:34:25 am
At a protest held for Nido Taniam at Jantar Mantar earlier this week. express At a protest held for Nido Taniam at Jantar Mantar earlier this week. express

Unhappy with the delay in submitting the post-mortem report of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam, who died in the capital last week, the Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up police, the CBI, the Centre and AIIMS, criticising their “attitude” and the manner in which investigation into crimes were being conducted.

“Forget about protecting the people, even after death, they are not getting treated with respect… there are so many delays in conducting post-mortems,” the court of the Delhi High Court Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice R S Endlaw said.

Earlier this week, the court had taken suo motu cognisance of the issue following Nido’s death.

On Friday, police counsel Dayan Krishnan told the court that investigation was being “fast tracked” and that police would file the chargesheet within 15 days of receiving the autopsy and FSL reports.

“Though the accused have been arrested, the post-mortem report is essential to find the cause of death,” Krishnan said, adding that so far AIIMS has submitted a “bare post-mortem sheet”, which was “legally inadmissible”.

“What is this attitude of AIIMS? You don’t want to give post-mortem reports?” the Chief Justice said, when informed that reports were not ready because CFSL had not given the toxicology report.

The CBI counsel was directed to ensure that the CFSL submitted the toxicology report expeditiously after the CBI lawyer told the court that chemical analysis “could not be done instantly.”

The counsel appearing on behalf of AIIMS was also directed to “coordinate” with the hospital to “expedite” the post-mortem report. The court directed police, the CBI and AIIMS to submit their reports on Monday.

Meanwhile, the court also directed police to submit a report on the number of pending post-mortems examinations.

“Before the next date of hearing, the Delhi Police is directed to file an affidavit disclosing the average number of autopsies required everyday, the hospitals where the said facilities are available, the average time before which the post-mortem (examination) is taken up and the average time taken for receipt of the post-mortem report. The affidavit should also disclose the reasons for the delays, if any, in taking up an autopsy…,” the court said.

Pulling up police, the Centre and the Delhi government for their lapses in providing protection to people from the Northeast, the court said, “When we fail to provide protection to a certain section of the people, someone will take advantage of that…”

The court also took note of a separate application filed by NGOs North East Sanstha and Confederation Of North Eastern People, which stated that no steps had been taken to address the issue harassment of people from the Northeast.

The NGOs informed the court of 26 separate incidents of harassment in which complaints were made to police but no action was taken.

The court asked Krishnan to file a report on Monday on what action had been taken on the complaints. “How many FIRs are there? Do we have any centralised data on how many such incidents have taken place?” the court said.

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