Illegible penmanship of doctors in medical reports does not serve the purpose of achieving Criminal Justice: Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Ajay Lamba and Sanjay Harkauli, JJ., disposed of a petition for the issuance of the writ of certiorari, so as to quash the FIR filed under Sections 395 and 397 of the IPC, 1860.

In the present case, the Court took cognizance of the importance of the medico-legal report in cases pertaining to offences under the IPC, 1860, and stated that the precious time of the courts is wasted in making an effort to read the illegible penmanship of the doctors and medical professionals who author the reports, which had previously been observed in the case of Chhabiraj v. State of U.P, Misc. Case No. 6750(B) of 2012. The doctor who had authored the report had scribbled the information pertaining to the injuries in an illegible handwriting, as a result of which the court had to summon him so as to understand the nature of injuries as revealed by the report. Upon receiving the printed form of the report, the court found that the report was made in a negligent and irresponsible manner, which was not useful to understand the location of the injuries, a factor which is pivotal in the adjudication of criminal cases.

The High Court then observed that the conduct of doctors and medical professionals was in complete disregard to the circular that had been passed by the Director of Medical Services. The court reiterated the importance of medico-legal reports in cases pertaining to hurt, homicide or suicide and stated that it plays an enormous role in determining the manner in which the incident played out, the nature of the injuries etc. It is also used to verify the veracity of statements and claims made by witnesses and other ocular evidence provided therein. But the negligent and irresponsible attitude of doctors, as was present in this case, is antithetical to the aim of achieving justice. The court reprimanded the doctor by deducting Rs. 5000/- from his salary. Furthermore, as there was no incriminating evidence on the charges of Sections 395 and 397, and no investigation had been undertaken with respect to other charges, the petition was disposed of in favour of the petitioners. [Fahad v. State of U.P., 2018 SCC OnLine All 1817, order dated 25-09-2018]

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