Nagpur, Oct 9 (PTI) : A High Court bench on Wednesday issued notices to Maharashtra's health and home departments over illegible writing in forensic medical reports, a medico-legal document that plays a critical role in forensic and post-mortem reports.
A Sevagram-based forensic doctor had approached the court for computerisation of all FMRs, and generation of the report by forensic medical software.
The petitioner, Dr Indrajit Khandekar, who is in charge of the state's first clinical forensic medicine unit at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) Sevagram (Wardha), filed a petition on the ground that illegible handwriting of doctors in FMRs often creates lot of problems for courts and criminal justice system is adversely affected.
His plea is based on a detailed study report conducted by him, which he had earlier submitted to government agencies.
A division bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Z A Haq on Wednesday issued notices to the health and home departments of the state.
Citing Khandekar's study, his counsel Vijay Patait contended that most of the handwriting of doctors on FMRs is not legible and a lot of time is consumed in deciphering it. He also highlighted problems posed during criminal and civil investigation because of the illegible handwriting.
Advocate Patait contended that the FMRs prepared by doctors in cases of sexual assault, injuries in cases of assault, attempt to murder, road traffic accident, poisoning cases, person causing nuisance under the influence of alcohol, arrested person, dowry death, torture and murder cases, including post-mortem reports etc, play a major role in meeting the ends of justice.
He argued that illegible handwriting of medicos in FMRs is a cause of worry and even courts have expressed displeasure over the handwriting of doctors.
The PIL pointed out that illegible handwriting causes tremendous problems in day-to-day functioning of the courts and it is one of the impediments in meeting the ends of justice, it leads to wastage of valuable time of judiciary during the trial of cases, is difficult to read for deciding the cases and creates confusion.
Government pleader Nitin Sambhare accepted the notice on behalf of state ministry of health. The notice is returnable within five weeks.
The PIL pointed out that sometimes the doctors who prepare the medico-legal report either leave the services of the hospital or are not traceable and other doctors are directed to appear in the court in their place, but due to illegible handwriting of the concerned doctor, the one deputed in the place is not able to decipher it.
Thus, it causes great inconvenience in communicating the exact facts mentioned in the post-mortem reports and FMRs during their evidence examination, which adversely affects the ends of justice and unnecessarily consumes lot of time of the court, the petition added.