Friday, June 9, 2023

Allahabad High Court takes tough stand on ambiguous medical reports

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The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has taken a tough stand on ambiguous medical reports being submitted in criminal cases. The Court said that such medical reports related to postmortem and injuries of the injured should be presented in the court, which should be completely readable.

A Single Bench of Justice Brij Raj Singh heard a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Vishwanath.

The bail application has been filed by the applicant with a prayer to enlarge him on bail in Case under Sections 323,504,506,304 IPC, Police Station- Panchdeora, District- Hardoi.

It has been submitted by counsel for the applicant that there are four accused against whom allegation of assault has been levelled and the deceased received one injury on his head and other two injuries received on non-vital parts of the body.

Counsel for the applicant has submitted that general allegation has been levelled against all the accused persons, and one of the accused Harish Chandra has been granted bail by the Court order dated 28.02.2023.

It has also been submitted that the case of the applicant is at par with the case of co-accused Harish Chandra. The applicant has no previous criminal history and there is no possibility of fleeing away from the judicial process or tampering with the witnesses and in case, the applicant is enlarged on bail, he shall not misuse the liberty of bail. The applicant has been in jail since 28.10.2022.

A.G.A though opposed the prayer for bail but could not dispute the aforesaid facts that the co-accused- Harish Chandra has been granted bail by the Court.

Rajhesh Kumar Singh, A.G.A has stated that the injury report filed by the doctor concerned is illegible.

“Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and after hearing learned counsel for the parties and looking into overall facts and circumstances of the case as well as the fact that co-accused- Harish Chandra has been granted bail by this Court and general role of assault assigned to all the accused persons, I find it a fit case for bail”, the Court observed.

The Court ordered that,

Let the applicant, namely, Vishwanath, be released on bail in the above case crime number on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of Court concerned with the following conditions :-

(i) The applicant shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the dates fixed for evidence when the witnesses are present in court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for the trial court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail and pass orders in accordance with law.

(ii) The applicant shall remain present before the trial court on each date fixed, either personally or through his counsel. In case of his absence, without sufficient cause, the trial court may proceed against him under Section 229-A of the Indian Penal Code.

(iii) In case, the applicant misuses the liberty of bail during trial and in order to secure his presence proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C is issued and the applicant fails to appear before the court on the date fixed in such proclamation, then the trial court shall initiate proceedings against him, in accordance with law, under Section 174-A of the Indian Penal Code.

(iv) The applicant shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for (i) opening of the case, (ii) framing of charge and (iii) recording of statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C. If in the opinion of the trial court absence of the applicant is deliberate or without sufficient cause, then it shall be open for the trial court to treat such default as abuse of liberty of bail and proceed against him in accordance with law.

The Trial Court shall be absolutely free to arrive at its independent conclusions on the basis of evidence led unaffected by anything in this order. At this stage, it is to be noted that from perusal of the injury report, it appears that the injuries mentioned in the report are illegible and the prosecution side as well as the applicant side faces difficulty while going through the injury report, the Court said.

The Court opined that in future postmortem reports or injury reports prepared by the doctor should be in typed format and legible, so that the same can be read easily.

Therefore, the Court directed the Principal Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare Government of U.P Lucknow to issue a proper direction to all the Chief Medical Officers of the District that postmortem report as well as injury report will be transcribed in typed format. The Senior Registrar of the Court is directed to forward a copy of this order to the Principal Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare Government of U.P. Lucknow forthwith for necessary compliance.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on May 25, 2023.

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