Experts from JIPMER, Puducherry, and government hospitals in Tamil Nadu, who viewed the video of Dharmapuri youth Ilavarasan’s post-mortem along with judges of the Madras HC on Tuesday, opined that a second autopsy was not necessary as the main injuries had been covered extensively during the first procedure, as seen in the video.
As per Monday’s directions on a petition seeking fresh autopsy of the body of Ilavarasan who was found dead near a railway track last Thursday, a bench comprising Justices V Dhanapalan and C T Selvam, on Tuesday, saw the video along with forensic experts from JIPMER, Puducherry, Madras Medical College, Dharmapuri Government Hospital and an expert nominated by the petitioner. When the hearing of the case came up in the afternoon, the judges said they had asked the doctors to file reports individually with their observations on the video by 4 pm.
Therefore, any orders could be passed only after going through the findings. In their report, the doctors from JIPMER, MJE Ambroise, in-charge of the autopsy wing, and K K Shaha, associate professor of Forensic Medicine, said there were some defects in the performance of the autopsy such as unsatisfactory collection of blood for chemical analysis and failure to weigh any of the organs as per the standard protocol.
But a more serious observation was the fact that there was a continuous stream of visitors, including politicians and lawyers inside the mortuary when the procedure was conducted. However, the two experts said that a second post-mortem was not necessary as the main injuries had been covered extensively. On the other hand, four doctors from State government institutions, including one from the Madras Medical College and three from Dharmapuri, gave clean chit to the autopsy performance and came to a similar conclusion that a fresh procedure was not necessary.
One of them even observed that a fresh post-mortem would not serve any purpose at all as it was clear that the cause of death was a head injury. The only dissenting voice was that of Dr Dekal, the expert nominated by the petitioner. Though conceding that the autopsy was not a ‘much deficient’ one for a routine case of accident or murder, in a highly suspicious case like the instant one, this was not reasonably good. “From the way the documentations have been done, the surgeon may not be able to tell whether it could be a suicide or murder. A second autopsy will certainly help correct these deficiencies,” he observed.
After the reports were submitted, judges, in their chamber, adjourned the matter to Wednesday and directed that a copy of the reports be given to respective counsels for perusal.
Meanwhile, the day also saw VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan move a petition challenging the prohibitory orders issued against his entry into Dharmapuri. The petition was placed before Justice Dhanapalan, who adjourned it to Thursday.