In directions aimed at fast tracking criminal trials, the Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi government to take immediate steps to ensure there is no delay in furnishing of medical and scientific reports before courts.
The court also called for more clarity in postmortem and medico-legal reports (MLC) furnished before the courts in terms of the language used so that there is no delay in understanding these reports. The court preferred computerised records rather than handwritten ones.
"Government is to take the views of different stakeholders including that of the doctors concerned and Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) and formulate a time bound scheme so that there is no delay in trials on account of want of requisite and proper medical and scientific reports in time," said justice ML Mehta.
The court said because of delay in FSL reports many avoidable orders were passed and it adversely affected the administration of justice.
The court also criticised the trend of doctors, who prepare MLCs, for not appearing in courts but sending their juniors or trainees to explain the report, which they mostly fail to do so.
The judge said a doctor who attends any victim, injured or dead, shall also take photographs of the clothes, as it is very crucial evidence in a criminal trial.
The court's order came on an appeal filed by the state against the order of an additional sessions judge who had issued these directions. The state contended that the judge had no power to give such kind of directions to the government in policy matters. But the high court concluded: "The directions are quite laudable and seem to be based on the difficulties faced by the trial courts."