Cry for justice by the downtrodden should not go unheard, the Madras High Court observed and directed fresh examination of the body of Dharmapuri youth E Ilavarasan, by two experts in the field of forensic medicine to ascertain if there had been any internal injuries.
The direction was passed on Wednesday as the court felt the autopsy report was silent on this aspect and to any change in skin texture that internal injuries could have brought.
The two experts are Dr Thangaraj, Head of Department of Forensic Medicine at the SRM Medical College and Research Centre, and Dr P Sampath Kumar, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Police Surgeon, Sri Ramachandra Medical College.
“We direct (them) to examine the body of the deceased, cause x-rays thereof, if found necessary and frame an opinion as to the likelihood or otherwise of any internal injuries,” the Bench comprising Justices V Dhanapalan and CT Selvam said.
“Though in the circumstances there was no reason to suspect any wrong doing in the conduct of the first autopsy, it was cry for justice by the downtrodden. We would consider it proper that such a cry go not unheard and that this court appropriately responds hitherto,” the Bench saaid, while directing the examination by the two experts.
If the experts consider it necessary, they could conduct clinical or surgical examination of the body. The report of their examination has to be submitted on July 12 at 10.30 am.
Earlier, when the petition seeking a fresh autopsy on Ilavarasan’s body came up for hearing, Justice Dhanapalan made his displeasure over the report of Dr M N Rajamani, the doctor from the Madras Medical College nominated by the State government to watch the video of the autopsy on Tuesday.
“The reason for calling in experts is to get their expertise. But we should say that we are deeply disappointed with the job done by the doctor,” the judge said in the open court.
On the plea for a fresh post-mortem, the judges said the courts could recommend it only in the rarest of rare cases. This is ascertained by three principles: if the procedure had been incomplete, careless or biased. Therefore, it was on the petitioner to make a case based on these three principles.
Arguing for the petitioner, lawyer Sankarasubbu said the first post-mortem fell under all three principles. Despite the knowledge of the fact that a petition was being moved before the High Court, the autopsy was hastily completed without waiting for the court’s orders, raising suspicion on the intention of the administration.
The report of the doctors who saw the video of the autopsy clearly revealed a number of lacunae such as inadequate lighting and failure to follow established protocols.
Lawyer NGR Prasad, on the other hand, argued that the case had to be seen in its totality. Justice is being sought for a boy who belonged to an oppressed community and who is suspected to have been gruesomely murdered. It was necessary that the court dealt with the matter with constitutional sensitivity. “The case here is not as to why there should be a second autopsy but why not?” he argued and added that the observation of experts that certain parts of the body had not been examined proved that the process was incomplete.