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Six more colleges cleared to handle autopsies

Six new institutes have been added to the list of government medical colleges in the State which can conduct post-mortem in cases of unnatural deaths in police custody, taking the total number of authorised colleges to 17. The forensic pathologist of the college will be responsible to send the final report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In 2001, the State government had directed that post-mortems should be conducted by medical colleges with forensic science departments. Now after almost 17 years, medical colleges at Akola, Kolhapur, Latur, Chandrapur, Gondia and Jalgaon have been added to the list.

As per rules, the post-mortem can be carried out by a panel of two or more doctors, and has to be shot on video by a person from the panel authorised by the district collector. The videographer will initially be paid by the college which will later be reimbursed by the concerned police commissioner, superintendent of police or jail authorities.

The inclusion of more colleges will relieve some of the financial and mental burden on the deceased’s family who often have to travel far. This may also reduce pressure on authorities who have to face a law and order situation from relatives of the deceased in case of a prolonged wait for the post-mortem report. As per NHRC guidelines post-mortems can be conducted only from sunrise to sunset and transporting the body over long distances may result in delays or decomposition.

As per the list, all post-mortems from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and Palghar will be conducted in Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital; while those in Pune and Ahmednagar will be in BJ Medical college and Sasoon Hospital.

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