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An autopsy is being requested by Investigative Agencies -Police under Section 174 Cr PC and /or Magistrate under section 176 Cr P C with following objectives :

Medico-legal issues: Guidelines by Govt of India Bullet

Medico-Legal Postmortem

1. To find out cause of death

2. To find factual, objective, medical information for law

enforcing agencies and court.

3. To allow proper recovery and preservation evidence

4. To document injuries and disease

5. To determine manner of death

6. To know time of death

7. To reconstruct Crime Scene

8. To provide correlation of facts and circumstances

related to the death

9. To help in identification of the victim, etc.

Model Postmortem Report [NHRC]

Complete or Incomplete Postmortem Procedure

As on today in India, full postmortem is carried out in medico-legal cases i.e.

1. Examination of clothing /items over the body.

2. External examination of the body from head to toe front, back and sides.

3. Internal examination with the opening of all the three cavities i. e Head, chest and abdomen.

There is no practice or provision of incomplete or partial or limited postmortem in medico-legal cases. Partial postmortem is practiced in clinical autopsies( Non-MLC cases)


1. All bodies should bear identification tags over plastic or cloth covering of the dead body; over chest, wrist or ankle areas in hospitalized or brought dead persons.

2. Body should be identified by accompanying police personnel and relatives of deceased.

3. All bodies shall be refrigerated immediately in cold storage ( 40 C) with proper tag and identification number by morgue attendant/staff.

4. Do not clean the body or clothing after death till postmortem examination is conducted.

5. All clothing of the deceased should remain with the body and their examination should be documented in the postmortem report.

6. Clothing should not be disposed of in any case without permission of Police. All clothing should be handed over to police in cases of murder, suicide, custody, encounter and jail deaths, in sealed packet ( after air drying the clothing if stained with blood or any other stains


1. General Medical Officer -MBBS with three months orientation course for PHC (Minimum 25 cases independently and 50 under supervision with report writing and digital photography)

2. Senior/Chief Medical Officer/Specialist – MBBS and MD in Forensic Medicine or persons having MBBS with six months to one-year orientation course (100 independent PM and 200 under supervision) for District centre

Basic Skills expected in Medical man handling Forensic cases

• Professional Skills

• Communication skills

• Workable English language skills

• Description of wounds/lesions

• X-ray interpretation of findings in forensic situations

• Handling, preservation and transportation of evidence

• Different types of format used for writing PM findings

• Sketching skills

• Photography skills (digital recording and interpretation)

• Making diagnosis ( Know as how to differentiate from other probable diagnoses)


Proposal for enactment of new Coroners Act applicable to the whole of India by Law Commission of India

Evidence in Court of Law
The examination in the court of law consists of.
1) The examination in chief,
2) The cross-examination,
3) The re-examination.


Clinical Autopsy vs Medi-colegal Autopsy

Autopsy Report of President John F. Kennedy

What should be in a Postmortem Report- Model form

How to issue Medical Certificate of Death by a Registered Medical Practitioner

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