Biometric system for the dead: Bombay HC

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A public interest ligation was filled by an advocate named Adil Khatri in the Bombay High Court praying for a mandamus to ensure presence of experts during postmortem of the dead bodies in the mortuary, also it was prayed that a female staff should be present while undertaking a postmortem of a deceased female. The PIL was based on the newspaper reports and visits to the mortuaries which stated that postmortems of the dead bodies were being conducted by the Safai karamcharis and other clerks whereas the doctors just affixed their signatures on the final report.

The Bombay High Court, a bench comprising of Chief Justice Nandrajog and Justice Jamdar did not commented anything on the prayer to include a female staff for postmortem of deceased female due to lack and non availability of staff for such issues but at the same time the court emphasized that the postmortem reports should only be prepared by qualified forensic experts and other qualified personnel whereas the clerks and Safai karamcharis can only provide ancillary services. To ensure the same the court believed that bio metric system is the most effective way of monitoring attendance and therefore directed the Maharashtra Government to install bio metric systems in mortuaries.

Court observed that these systems are being used efficiently in several other governmental establishments so the same can also be applied in the case of mortuaries from where various important reports usually come out. A mandamus to this effect was issued by the court to all the heads of the mortuaries towards installation of the bio metric system within two weeks of the order.