Legal experts have junked the Delhi Police's attempt to draw support from the post-mortem report of constable Subhash Tomar to prove murder charges against some of the protesters. Medical evidence, they said, is not conclusive enough in a criminal trial but corroborative in nature.
On December 23, Tomar had collapsed during the crackdown on protesters assembled at India Gate. He had succumbed to his injuries two days later. The police cremated his body on December 26, even before the post-mortem report came out.
The report also mentioned some injuries on Tomar's body, which had been denied by the medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. Two independent witnesses too contradicted the report's contents.
"The contents of an autopsy report can be easily challenged before the court by an accused," said former Delhi High Court judge Justice RS Sodhi.
Critical of the police act, senior advocate Aman Lekhi said: "A medical report can state the injuries and support a statement. It doesn't confirm the cause of death nor the perpetrator." He also admonished the police for lodging a murder case promptly. "This shows the police worked with a pre-disposed notion."
Another senior counsel Jayant Bhushan raised questions about the credibility of the witness whose version supported the police theory. "The police should have videographed the post-mortem, set up a medical board and delayed the policeman's cremation for a probe," he said. Bhushan also said the version of two witnesses, who were caught on television cameras, has greater credence.