BIRTH OF MEDICO LEGAL INSTITUTE
Prof. Heeresh Chandra
Valedictory Address By - Dr. R.J.Bhave
Letter From Director General Of Health Services
Upgradation of Standards of Medicolegal Practice through Medicolegal Institute By
Prof. Heeresh Chadra
The Government of Indian in the Ministry of Health vide letter No.F-23/11/58-M-III, dated 23rd December 1958 constituted the Central Medicolegal Advisory Committee. The main function of the Committee was to advise the Central and State Governments on matters pertaining to Medicolegal procedures and practices throughout India and to promote the development of new and modern techniques in the field. The Committee gave its report in 194, which was published by the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health, New Delhi. Not much concrete work was, however, done in this direction and subsequently the Standing Committee on Forensic Medicine was constituted in the Ministry of Home Affairs to pick up the threads left by the Advisory committee Report. The Standing Committee also observed that medico-legal practices are directly concerned more with the Home and Law Departments of the government, than the Health Department, except that the practitioner involved is a qualified medical man. The Committee also observed most regretfully that the Medicolegal practices throughout the length and the breadth of the country has been found to be in a most deplorable condition for the following reasons:
THE STATE MEDICOLEGAL INSTITUTE OF MADHYA PRADESH
Medicolegal Institutes has been in existence for centuries in several European countries. The first Medicolegal Institute was established in Austria in 1804, and many other countries soon followed the move.
The Health survey and Development committee, Government of India, 1946 and the Central Medicolegal Advisory Committee, at its sixth session held in Calcutta in March 1961 have noted the inadequacy of trained medical officers for the Medicolegal work. The Central Medicolegal Advisory committee during its first session in 195 considered the suggestion of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to create a special cadre of Medicolegal officers. The survey institute and state Medicolegal institutes functioning as departments of forensic medicine in medical colleges in the capital city of the states. The said committee also recommended that each State shall have a Medicolegal adviser to advise Government matters pertaining to Medicolegal services and problems, which may be a collateral duty of the Director of the Medicolegal Institute.
HISTORY OF CREATION/ESTABLISHMENT
Spadework of this creation dates back after the publication of the survey committee report 1964 on Medicolegal or actives in India released by director general of health services. Ministry of health, Government. Of India. The then chairman of Madhya Pradesh police commission Shri c.m. Trivedi vide his letter dated 28th may 195 addressed to the director of health services drew his attention to the most deplorable conditions about the Medicolegal services in the state. The letter followed this from Mr. K.K. Dave the then secretary of Madhya Pradesh police commission. He posed about 17 questions to the DHS in connection with Medicolegal practices and asked how the deficiencies could be corrected and what help would be needed. In compliance to that the DHS summoned a meeting, which was held on 25-06-65 to consider the implementation of recommendations of the survey committee report 1964. Officers of the police, Health and Law department attended the meeting. All the recommendations were accepted by the government of Madhya Pradesh and public health department vide memo no. 6696/M-3 dated 15th July 1965 and most of the actions were proposed to be taken and implemented after the proposal is received from the DHS. This recommendation remained in incubation till the present director of institute couthe the strands and took up the matter. Series of meetings were held from 1975 to 1976 with secretaries of the government in public health, law, Home Dept., Director Budget, Director Medical services, IG Police assisted by DIG (CID) and professor of forensic medicine. As a result of this Government decided to establish a Medicolegal institute and a provision of Rs. 1.40 lacs was included in the budget for the year 197-1977.
Looking to the quasi-Judicial nature of the Department a separate budget under the Home Department was provided and a separate had of the department was created under the administrative control of the home department.
In this first decade the institution has satisfactorily developed in all branches of the field and has got full fledged working laboratories to cover all the branches of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. This gradual development during the decade has given a better maturity. The make of the rich library is one of the assets, which any Institution can be proud of.
It was unfortunate that in
December 1984 during the tragedy of "Man Made Disaster" Institute did not have
all the sophisticated equipments, which we have today. These were in the process of being
purchased, as if in anticipation of such establishment to meet the disaster investigation.
But financial restrains during the period earlier to 84 handicapped the institute. This
was soon realised and generous grant came forward.
It was unfortunate that in December 1984 during the tragedy of "Man Made Disaster" Institute did not have all the sophisticated equipments, which we have today. These were in the process of being purchased, as if in anticipation of such establishment to meet the disaster investigation. But financial restrains during the period earlier to 84 handicapped the institute. This was soon realised and generous grant came forward.
As to the scientists we have been finding some difficulties to attract them but gradually a healthy atmosphere has been generated for this specialty in the medical world and the staff position is improving day by day.
The establishment of institute of forensic medicine and toxicology in Bhopal; us right step and is keeping up with the national and international recommendations made from time to time to protect the interest of justice and a fore warning to medical profession; The right functioning of the institute is bound to act as a proper check in practice of medicine throughout the professionals particularly when mistake arise out of lack of care, failure to ensure accuracy in records or communications or from more serious disregards for ethical standard. It is common knowledge that many a times persons as a result of such lacks by way of sustaining insults, enduring unnecessary hurt, loosing wrong eye, tooth, or leg and where in suffer from financial stability to acquire the right to litigation to recover some sort of compensation.
The main functions of this state institute are:
1 To cater to the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate education in forensic medicine and to provide appropriate courses of instruction to other law-enforcing agencies;
2 Be responsible for conduct of all Medicolegal necropses of the city and the autopsies from the various district of the state.
3 Undertake Medicolegal examination of skeletal remains;
4 To provide consultative service to medical officers and assist whose engaged in clinical forensic medicine practices;
5 To work in close collaboration with the departments of police and Justice (law) to whom it should provide consultative and advisory services on all relevant technical problems concerning investigation of crime. It should also advise the government on all Medicolegal matters;
6 To conduct research and to run training courses to medical, police and Judicial officers.
The state Medicolegal Institute has now grown from infancy to adulthood, the achievements of which are appreciated not only in the state, but august bodies like medical council of India, Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine and other dignitaries visiting the department. All these achievements are also triking because the institute was no precedence to follow but have to be cautious enough as other will follow it. The institute has been able to make an impact in the Medicolegal investigation as reflected by nearly 90% increase in "Postmortem Index" in the last tem years (The index is considered as an indication of the Medicolegal investigation system).
The famous Jurist Mr. Justice Hidayatullah, the then Vice President of India in his inaugural address at the occasion of the first world conference on Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine (1984) paid a very high tribute to this institute.
The institute has got facilities for research leading to D.Sc., Ph. D., M.D., D.F.M.The institute has all the functional laboratories.
Perpetual attempts to dismantle Medico Legal Institute
Many attempts and efforts were made by the investigating agency to persuade the committee that, the Medicolegal Institute should be created under the administration control of police department, like FSL. Stiff opposition dismantled this attempt by the strong opinion expressed by then Law Secretary Shri SURANA and Prof HEREESH CHANDRA. It is basically wrong to have administrative control over quasi-judicial work. As a result a post of separate head of the department under the home department and the result was even politicians could not influence the opinion given.
But to my utter surprise the dismantling of Medicolegal Institute, its social and quasi-judicial status is being eroded by the following recommendation by the "TIRKHA Committee Section-24 under the heading "Organization of services to promote efficiency of the police".
Quote " The state Government shall provide towards the provision and maintenance of Forensic Science Laboratories and Medico-Legal Units and such other organizations and services as it may consider necessary of expedient for promoting the efficiency of the police.
Provided that the Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, and Director, Medico-Legal Institute shall function under the overall supervision of the Director General of Police."
After creation of Medico-Legal Institute in 1996 it earned Name, Reputation and Fame in all the fields. But the Investigating Agency has not forgotten it's main objective and persistently making attempts to dismantle the independent Quasi-Judicial Nature, even after it's existence for 25 years.
It shows the deterioration and mind of the Investigating agency that they do not want transparency, independent opinion but want the medical profession at their service.
OUTSTANDING CONSTRIBUTIONS OF THE MEDICOLEGAL INSTITUTE
1. Establishment of First Medicolegal Institute in the Country (1997).
2. Establishment of Paternity through Human Leucocyte Antigen Technique (1981)
3. Identified the new theme and established the utility of
3.1. Investigative Forensic Medicine (1983).
3.2. Reconstructive Forensic Medicine (1981).
4. Started the nucleus of Medicolegal Service in the state.
5. The training course of Medical Officers has been started from April 1982
6. Medicolegal training also has been given to I.P.S. Police Officers. Time to time non - gazetted Police officials also sent for the training by the police Department.
7. The short term Medicolegal Training to Judicial officers started from Sept. 87. Till todate we have completed two batches of Judicial Officers.
8. Buccal occlusion line of teeth & photographs of the alleged victim (A identification technique).
FIELD OF WORK.
1. Forensic medicine, which includes toxicology, biochemistry, anthropology, odontology, osteology, Radiology, Serology, Photography, Entomology, Histology.
2. Investigative forensic medicine and reconstructive forensic medicine.
BRIEF RESUME OF WORK, STATE SPECIFICALLY THE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE DISCIPLINE.
1. RECONSTRUCTIVE FORENSIC MEDICINE.
A theme has been identified in the subject and presented in 8th Australian International Forensic Science Symposium, 83 at Perth Australia.
On this basis many cases independently examined and referred were solved and are reported.
2. INVESTIGATVE FORENSIC MEDICINE.
A theme has been identified in the subject in the above named conference and its correlated values has been recognized and accepted. Many cases have been solved by this method.
3. DISPUTED PATERNITY WITH THE USE OF H.L.A. TECHNIQUE
For the first time in this part of world this technique was applied and used to resolve successfully to settle a disputed paternity.
4. BUCCAL OCCLUSION LINE OF TEETH & PHOTOGRAPH OF THE ALLEGED VICTIM (A DEFINITE IDENTIFICATION TECHNIQUE).
Human skeleton has been used in many ways in the establishment of the individual of a person, in totality called identification.
Prof. Brash, an Anatomist, in the famous case of United Kingdom, called Ruxton Murder Case, did one such remarkable study on the skull.
This has been very well documented and practically in the books of Forensic Medicine and Sciences, a reference to this case is there.
The study after the famous Ruxton Murder case of 1935 is now being reported will be still greater contribution because of its certainty in identification as compared to the facial reconstruction and could be considered a discovery of the year in the field of Forensic Medicine.
5. Etiopathopogy of young female burns lying down - some investigative methods.
6. Identity of certain aspect from bone fragments by Microscopy.
7. "Time since Death" - Forensic Entimology study.