Delayed post-mortem reports hampering crime detection efforts: Police
On August 20, 2011, the RCF police found the body of eight-year-old Aniket Gorse floating in a drum in the bathroom of his house in Chembur. Police registered a case of accidental death because the hospital had withheld the post mortem report.mumbai Updated: Jun 04, 2012 01:44 IST
On August 20, 2011, the RCF police found the body of eight-year-old Aniket Gorse floating in a drum in the bathroom of his house in Chembur. Police registered a case of accidental death because the hospital had withheld the post mortem report.
Incidentally, the father of the boy was missing, which had aroused suspicion regarding Aniket’s death. Nine months later, on May 24, the RCF police registered a case of murder against Aniket’s father.
Police said they could not register a murder case earlier because the state Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) took nine months to submit a report of the viscera samples that stated Aniket had not died of drowning, but had been choked to death and his body put in the drum.
For RCF police the confirmation of their suspicion came nine months too late. The boy’s father Parappa Gorse had already escaped. The RCF police admitted the nine-month gap made their chances of tracking down Gorse bleak.
As in the above case, police stations receive viscera reports in suspicious accidental deaths – where reports are inconclusive on the cause of death – around 8-10 months after the incident.
An officer from the FSL admitted that in cases of ADRs it took them around a year to send the report. “On an average, we get 400 viscera samples from Mumbai, Thane and Raigad every month. Unlike other tests, the process of conducting a viscera test takes at least 20 days for one sample. Currently, we are conducting tests on those viscera submitted to us by the police in January 2011.”
He said, “We give priority to cases where a murder has already been registered. The viscera report helps police as evidence against the accused in a court of law. We also conduct tests in certain cases on priority if the police asks us.”
Senior inspector of RCF police Dilip Yadav told HT that there were several accidental death reports at the police station wherein the police suspected foul play. In many of those cases, it had been registered for more than a year.
The post-mortem procedure
The police send the body to a government hospital for a post mortem to rule out foul play. If the report rules out foul play, the police take
no further action.
If the report is inconclusive, a part of the viscera – vital body parts such as heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen – is sent to the FSL for analysis.
At the FSL, the viscera is checked for poison. In cases of drowning, the report states if the person died because of drowning or if the body was dumped in the water after the person was killed. In cases of a person found hanging, the viscera report will prove if the person was killed and then hanged to make it appear like a suicide.
In case the viscera report points to any foul play, a murder case is registered and investigations begin or else no police action follows.
Not leopard attack but murder
Killed by his friend
Eight months after the body of a Borivli teenager, Sanjesh Borle, suspected to have been killed in a leopard attack, was found at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Kasturba Marg police arrested his friend Chetan Khankar on May 28 this year for allegedly killing him.
The Kasturba Marg police had sent Borle’s body on September 17, after his post mortem report did not specify the cause of death as his body had decomposed.
While persistent investigation by Kasturba Marg police help them solve the case, the murderer could have easily gone scot-free as the FSL has not yet sent the viscera report, even eight months after the murder.
Had the report been sent, it would have been clear that Borle died after had been hit on the head with a blunt object and not because of a leopard attack. Fortunately for the police the accused did not flee during the eight months.
Murder or natural death?
Found dead in her flat
The body of a 79-year-old woman, Manisha Adi, was found at her Prabhadevi residence on May 8. The Dadar police – who prepared an accidental death report – were not sure if the senior citizen, who lived alone, died of natural causes or if she was murdered, as her post mortem report remained inconclusive. While there are no external injury marks found, the police have not ruled out foul play. The Dadar police are awaiting Adi’s viscera report from FSL to find out if she died a natural death or some foul play was involved.