THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Aiming to stamp out custodial torture, the state cabinet has approved a new medico-legal protocol for remanded prisoners and police detainees. Formulated on the basis of the recommendation made by Justice Narayana Kurup, who had probed the Nedumkandam custodial death, a slew of measures such as detailed medical examination was approved.As per the protocol, the medical examination report of the suspect/remand prisoner should be made in the prescribed format.
The police should hand over the request for examination to a medical officer belonging to the state or Central service. Only in the case of their absence can registered medical practitioners attached to private hospitals be approached. Women prisoners should henceforth be examined by female medical officers, according to the protocol.
Injuries should be mentioned in the medical examination report with the approximate time of occurrence. Details of pre-existing medical conditions and medication should also be mentioned. In case of injuries to the private parts, they should be mentioned in detail.
In case of serious injuries, advanced medical tests should be conducted without any delay. The medical examination, as well as tests, should be conducted free of cost and in unavoidable circumstances, the service of private labs could be sought. On the basis of medical tests, the services of specialist doctors could be sought. If the institution approached lacks specialists and life-saving facilities, it should be noted in the medical report and the prisoner/detainee should be referred to a tertiary hospital. The medical report should be given to the police officer as well as the patient, and a copy should be kept at the hospital, the protocol said.