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PIL filed in High Court seeking computerization of Forensic Medical Reports

Sevagram, Wardha (Maharashtra): Peeved by the illegible handwriting of medicos especially in forensic medical/medico-legal reports (FMR) including clinical forensic and postmortem reports, a Sevagram-based forensic doctor has approached the judiciary for computerization of all FMRs and its generation through forensic medical software.

Dr Indrajit Khandekar, who is in-charge of the state’s first Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit (CFMU) and associate professor, department of forensic medicine and toxicology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram-Wardha, has filed a PIL (public interest litigation) in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on the ground that illegible handwriting of doctors on FMRs often creates a lot of problems for courts and the criminal justice system is adversely affected.

According to Dr Khandekar, his plea is based on his detailed study report which has already been submitted to the government agencies. A division bench comprising Justice B R Gavai and Justice Z A Haq on Wednesday issued notices to the health and the home ministries of the state.

Citing Dr Khandekar’s exhaustive study his counsel Vijay Patait contended that in most of the FMRs handwriting of the doctor is not legible and a lot of time is consumed in deciphering the said writings. Patait also highlighted the problems posed during criminal and civil investigations because of the illegible handwriting.

Patait further contended that FMRs prepared by doctors in sexual assaults, injuries in cases of assaults, attempt to murder, road traffic accidents, poisoning cases, person causing nuisance under the influence of alcohol, arrested person, dowry deaths, torture and murder cases including postmortem reports etc play a major role in meeting the ends of justice.

The counsel further argued that illegible handwriting of medicos in FMRs is really a cause of worry for courts and even courts have expressed displeasure over the handwriting of doctors.

The PIL also pointed out that sometimes the concerned doctors who had prepared the medico-legal report have either left the services of the hospital or are not traceable and other doctors are directed to appear in the court in their place, but due to illegible handwriting of the concerned doctors, the doctors who are deputed in the place of such doctors are most of the time not able to decipher the handwriting of the concerned doctors and feel great inconvenience in communicating the exact facts mentioned in the postmortem reports and FMRs during their evidence examination, which adversely effects the ends of justice and unnecessarily consumes a lot of time of the court.

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