Post-mortem examinations and action to be taken by police

Under Rajasthan Police Rule 1965

6.36. Post-mortem examinations. –

Action to be taken by police- When corpses are sent for medical examination the following rules shall be observed:-

(1) The result of the investigating officers examination of the body shall be carefully recorded in Form 6.36 (1) Clothing found on the body, foreign matter adhering to it and any instrument likely to have caused death remaining in a wound or on the body shall be secured to the position in which found if possible, or otherwise, shall be carefully packed separately, according to the instructions contained in rule 6.39.

(2) To contract decomposition as far as possible the body shall be sprinkled with formal indiluted to 10 per cent and shall also be sensed with strong solution of chloride of lime in water. Besides which have to be carried long distances should be sprinkled with the day powder of chloride of lime or with carbolic powder sold commercially in tin boxes with a perforated lid specially constructed for sprinkling purposes. The use of powdered charcoal is prohibited, as the stains caused thereby may complicate the task of post-mortem examination.

(3) The body shall be placed on a charpoy or other light litter and protected from the sun, flies and exposure to the weather. The litter shall be transported to the place appointed for the holding of post-mortem examinations by such means as the investigating officer may consider most expedient in the circumstances of weather, distance to be covered and conditions of the body. If necessary and expedient conveyance including a motor vehicle, may be hired to carry the corpse and those who are required to accompany it as escort or witnesses.

(4) All Police Officers along the route are required to give immediate assistance to expedite the transportation of dead bodies for Medical examination.

(5) Two police officers who have seen the dead body in the position in which it was first found, and are competent to detect any attempt at substitution or tempering with the body or its coverings shall accompany the body to the mortuary, and remain incharge of it until examination is complete. If necessary an additional guard shall be supplied to place a sentry on the mortuary, but the officers who have accompanied the body from the spot shall hand it over personally to the medical officer conducting the postmortem examination together with all reports and articles sent by the investigating officer to assist the examination and shall receive and convey to the investigating officer the postmortem report.

(6) As soon as the medical officer has intimated that his examination is complete, the police shall, unless they have received orders from a competent authority to the contrary, make over the body to the deceased’s relatives or friends, or, if there are no relatives or friends, or they decline to receive it, the police shall cause the body to be buried or burnt according to the rules.

6.37. Unidentified bodies. –

If a body is unidentified, the officer making investigation shall record a careful description of it, giving all marks, peculiarities, deformities and distinctive features, shall take the finger impressions and, in addition to taking all other reasonable steps to secure identification shall; if possible, have it photographed and, in cases where such action appears desirable, a description published in the Criminal Intelligence Gazette.
Unidentified corpses should be handed over to any charitable society which is wiling to accept them, and if no such society comes forward they should then be buried or burnt.

6.38. Form to accompany body of injured person –

As injured person or a body is sent to a medical officer; Form 6.36 (1) shall, in addition to any other report prescribed, be prepared by the carbon copying process and given to police officer, in duplicate, who accompanies the injured person or goes in charge of the body.

6.39. Articles for medical examination how sent –

(1) Articles sent for medical examination together with a body or injured person, shall be sent under the charge of the escort which accompanies such body or persons.
(2) When no body of injured person is sent, such articles shall be sent in the charge of an escort which shall take them to the Principal Medical Officer without relief.

6.40. Chemical Examiner-

Channel of communication with – (1) Superintendents of Police are authorised to correspond with, and submit articles for analysis to, the Chemical Examiner direct in all cases other than human poisoning cases. Any references in references in relation to human poisoning cases shall be made through the Principal Medical Officer.

(2) Articles for chemical examination – (2) With regard to the packing of articles sent for chemical examination the following rules shall be observed :-
(i) Liquids, vomit excrement and the like, shall be placed in clean wide mouthed bottles or glazed jars, the stoppers or corks of which shall be tied down with bladder, leather or cloth, the knots of the cord being sealed with the seal of the police officer making the investigation.

Such bottles or jars shall be tested, by reversing them for a few a minutes, to see whether they leak or not.
(ii) Supposed medicines or poisons, being dry substances, shall be similarly tied down in jars or made up into sealed parcels.

(iii) All exhibits suspected to contain stains should be thoroughly dry before being packed and dispatched for examinations. In cases of exhibits that become : brittle on drying, they should be carefully packed in cotton wool and then in a wooden box.

(iv) Blood stained weapons, articles or cloth, shall be marked with a seal and made up into sealed parcels. The entire article shall be sent.

(v) Sharp edged and pointed exhibits like swords, spears etc. should be packed in boxes and not bound up into cloth packages. In their transit through the post they are liable to cut through the packing material and the exhibit is exposed.

(vi) On each bottle, jar and parcel, and also on each article or set of articles contained therein, the separate identification of which has to be proved, shall be affixed a label describing the contents, giving full particulars and stating where each article was found.

On such label shall be impressed a counterpart of the seal used to secure the fastening of the bottle, jar or parcel. A copy of each label, and a counter-part impression of the seal, shall be given in the inquest report, and in the case of cattle poisoning, in the case diary.
(vii) As far as possible no letters should be glued on to exhibits as they interfere with analysis.

(viii) Exhibits such as clods of earth should be packed carefully in wool and placed in a wooden box.

(3) Any document purporting to be report from the Chemical Examiner or his assistants is admissible as evidence under section 510, code of Criminal Procedure.

(5) Attention is also directed to the further directions for, and precaution to be taken in forwarding articles to the Chemical Examiner for examination report and the rules for preserving and packing exhibits container in Appendix 640 (4).