- A magistrate sends the dead body for a post mortem after death occurs in custody.
- A medical officer is called to the cell to examine a seriously ill prisoner and finds him already dead.
- Medical officer may be called during the exhumation of a body
- In case of prison doctors, when he is called to certify the fitness of the prisoner either before, during or after the torture.
- Injuries: Especially blunt injuries (by fists, legs or weapons).
- Rarely, when police outnumber the offender leading to his death due to:
- Traumatic asphyxia
- Exhaustion and fear
- Vasovagal shock as in
- Arm locks
- Neck holds – bar arm control
- Carotid sleeper.
- Due to complications resulting from alcohol abuse as:
- Acute alcohol poisoning
- Aspiration of vomit and choking on gastric contents
- Accidents while under influence.
- Suicides in custody.
- Purely natural death.
When you come across an inmate in custody who is found dead do not issue a death certificate even if you think it to be a natural death.
- When called to remain present for an exhumation, familiarize yourself with the procedures involved beforehand.
- Do not get involved in any kind of torture yourself.
- When a dead body of an inmate is sent for post mortem make sure that the inquest is from a magistrate.