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Rajasthan HC: Viscera Samples of Unidentified Dead Bodies be Preserve by Police Officials

2 min read

Aishwarya Rathore

Published on August 11, 2021 at 14:37 IST

The Jodhpur Bench of Rajasthan High Court directed that the concerned Police Officers must make prompt attempts to collect ‘viscera samples’ from unidentified dead bodies for DNA comparison. 

A Division Bench of Justices Sandeep Mehta and Manoj Kumar Garg noted,“We hereby direct that in all cases of unidentified dead bodies, the concerned Police Officials make immediate efforts to contact the nearest Medical College/CMHO/Medical Jurist for the purpose of collecting viscera samples from such bodies so that the same can be preserved for DNA comparison as and when required.”

Referring to the Supreme Court’s dictum in Lokniti Foundation v. Union of India & Ors., the Court advised the State of Rajasthan to enact legislation mandating DNA profiling of all unidentified dead bodies and missing persons to avoid unfortunate situations where relatives are either unable or unwilling to confirm the identity.

The petitioner, wife of Prem Ratan, approached the Court seeking directions to the Police Officer to produce the corpus of her husband, who was missing since 2019, suspecting him to be murdered by relatives who were eyeing his property.

The Police submitted that the very next day after the alleged disappearance of petitioner’s husband, a dead body of an elderly man resembling him had been found on the railway tracks whose photographs were snapped thereof.

However, the petitioner and her son refused to identify the dead body as Prem Ratan.

It was also submitted that, unfortunately, DNA samples were not preserved to establish the body’s identity.

The Court then cited the judgment of Horilal v. Commissioner of Police, Delhi, in which Police Officials were given five-point directions to follow in the case of missing persons. These directions included the publishing of pictures, inquiry in the neighbourhood and all other likely places, inquiry into ongoing and past disputes, searching hospitals and mortuaries, and announcing rewards.

Advocate Gupta drew the Court’s attention to the judgment in Pensiliya v. The Commissioner of Police (2014), urging that similar standard procedures should be adopted in Rajasthan. Taking note of the Madras High Court’s directions in Pensiliya, the Court advised the Rajasthan Police to implement the same with necessary modifications.

While disposing of the petition, the Court instructed that a copy of the Order be given to the Home Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur, and the Director General of Police, Rajasthan for compliance.

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