Forensics is nobody’s baby

Disowned by both health and home departments, it is a monument of negligence

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | July 17, 2014 | Chennai



P Chandra Sekharan, the principal scientific investigator in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and a Padma Bhushan awardee, is concerned over the state of forensic departments in India. The health administration believes they are not part of health services and belong to the home department, relating to police work. The home department, on the other hand, disowns them because they are not under its payroll. Thus they are neglected by both sides. This general trend in many countries may perhaps be one of the reasons for the dearth of experienced forensic pathologists, says Sekharan. (Also read: Sunanda autopsy affidavit reveals plight of Indian forensics)

He says forensic medicine is considered one of the most fascinating branches of medicine. Medical examination of the body of the dead or alive, the observations made thereon, accurate scientific assembly of the evidence gathered and reconstruction of reasonable inferences should fascinate those who choose to practise it, and give them professional satisfaction too. But there are not many takers for this specialty – not because of lack of interest among medical graduates but due to little interest shown by the health administration.

“Forensic medical science is one of the most disciplined sciences. If things go wrong there miscarriage of justice will take place,” he adds.
Sudha Ramalingam, a Chennai-based senior advocate and social activist, says the mortuaries in government hospitals are in poor state, unhygienic, away from the eyes of the general public, shunned by the living and beyond scrutiny or complaint by the dead. Corrupt practices abound in dealing with the dead. (Also read: Indian forensics: Raising a stink)

“Clients tell me it is a nightmare to go to mortuaries in search of ‘missing persons’ or accident victims. There is no dignity of death at mortuaries. I also learn that the employees are often drunk, saying that only then can they handle the trauma of dealing with the bodies on routine basis. It is necessary to enhance the salaries and perks of these employees, treat them with dignity to make them responsible and sensitive.”

(The story appeared in the July 16-31 issue of the magazine)

Comments

 

Other News

Stories to read over the weekend

At one time these pale rooms of the Delhi commission for women looked like sleepy corners of officialdom; they are now best described as a bustling sarkari office. The woman who transformed this moribund organisation hardly looks like a powerful leader. Dressed in casual blue jeans and loose deni

Tata Trusts, PFA to build state-of-the-art veterinary hospital

Tata Trusts and People For Animals (PFA) announced their collaboration to build a state-of-the-art, multi-specialty veterinary hospital and emergency clinic at Navi Mumbai to serve the needs of all domestic and farm animals at affordable rates.   The hospital will be built in Kala

The shot just got smarter

A long queue of women, infants in their arms, extends outside the immunisation room at the community health centre (CHC) in Bhangel village, Noida, a pink double-storey building beside a bustling market. Unmindful of the chit-chatting and baby babble, Mariamma Samuel, an auxiliary nurse-cum-midwi

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Reform first, privatise later: Bibek Debroy to railways

Before privatisation and corporatisation, the Indian Railways need to undertake major reforms including commercial accounting, decentralisation and human resource among others, said Bibek Debroy, economist and member, NITI Aayog at Railways Reforms and Governance Conclave organised by Governance Now on Fri

NTPC plans for 32 GW installed capacity via renewable sources

NTPC Ltd has raised Rs 2,000 crore through green masala bonds in overseas market under its $4 billion medium term note programme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable

Video

हमेशा रहें चुनाव के लिए तैयार - मोदी ने कहा सांसदों से

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter