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Indian Express
18 October 2010
By S S Sidhu, Sanjeev Aggarwal
New Delhi, India

Following a Delhi court’s suggestion on computerising postmortem and medical reports, the government has directed its hospitals to do away with manual reports, often written in illegible handwriting.

Additional Secretary, Health and Family Welfare S S Sidhu informed Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal that an order has been issued to all eight hospitals authorised to conduct postmorterm examinations. The hospitals where computerised postmortem reports will be issued included Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Guru Teg Bahadur, Lok Nayak and Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospitals. The Medical Superintendent of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital also told the court that they had floated tenders exploring the possibility of preparing computerised Medico–Legal Case (MLC) reports and including a picture of the injured in the reports.

The court noted, "The incorporation of the photograph in the MLC would lead to transparency in the criminal justice system as no accused will be able to take the advantage of wrong MLCs in court, which will also be useful for his identification."

In its April order, the court had suggested streamlining of the preparation of MLC and postmortem reports. The Additional Sessions Judge had said, "In most cases, the writings in the MLC(s)/postmortem reports are not at all legible and lot of time is consumed in deciphering the writings. The doctors have to first describe the content, so that the same can be dictated and converted into legible words."

"MLCs, especially postmortem reports, should be prepared on computer, rather than in handwriting to save the time of the court, defence lawyers and the accused and to give better clarity to the accused, as to what is against them," the court observed.

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