‘Don’t put marks on forehead of dead bodies for identification’
A division bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice NW Sambre was hearing a petition seeking criminal action against railway officials who marked the bodies of those who died in the stampede.mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2017 19:35 IST
The Bombay high court on Thursday questioned the practice of some civic hospitals of putting a mark on forehead of a dead body to identify the deceased, as was done in case of bodies of people who died in a stampede at Elphinstone Road railway station on September 29.
“There must not be such marks put on foreheads of the deceased persons,” said a division bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice NW Sambre, while hearing a petition seeking criminal action against railway officials who marked the bodies of those who died in the stampede.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Nitin Satpute, said the doctors at KEM Hospital had put numbers on the foreheads of the bodies as identity marks. “You [government and civic hospitals] must be more responsible,” the judges told additional public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde, who represented the state government.
It requires some common sense and humane approach to avoid such bad practices, the judges said. The bench also sought to know from Shinde if there were any guidelines, fixed procedural norms to be adhered to before and during post-mortem on people who die in disasters and contingencies.
Satpute also pointed out that instead of taking action against the KEM Hospital staff members who put the marks, criminal cases have been registered against the relatives of the deceased who complained about it.
During the course of hearing on the PIL, the bench also commented upon the lack of preparedness of the state and civic administration to tackle contingencies and disasters. “Unfortunately, we are not well equipped to manage such disasters and calamities,” the judges said.