1 October, 2020

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India’s Rotten Criminal Justice System: Be Aware Of Disturbing Images

By Colombo Telegraph –

“No justice could be expected through the India’s criminal justice process. At the moment it is a mere formality, executed in some of the most inhuman and crude forms, which not only makes a mockery of science and law, but also is a complete disrespect to humanity.” says Asian Human Rights Commission. 

Issuing a press statement it further says “The shameful condition of the state of affairs followed in the process is so pathetic that it symbolises a rotten criminal justice system that no country could ever tolerate as long as it tries to uphold the rule of law. The process documented negates every conceivable excuse, acceptable in administrative process or in law or for that matter in science.”

We below reproduced the full text of the press statement;

Rotten and maggot-ridden corpses lie scattered in compounds; dogs, crows and other rodents run around with human body parts; tables made of broken wooden planks where putrefied human bodies are cut open by Doms (members of a Dalit community known in India for dealing with dead bodies) with crude tools like a chisel or nail hit hard with bricks used as hammer; human viscera samples lying in unsealed unmarked bottles and plastic containers, with its contents half or completely decayed. These are some of the blood chilling and appalling conditions of what in India is termed a forensic examination. The Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been for the past decade reporting that the facilities for forensic examination in India is so appalling that the process today in most parts of the country is nothing less than an inhuman, unscientific and manipulative process that serves no purpose, in law or for science.

A video documentary prepared by MASUM on autopsy procedures in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, which is released today, is available here. The shameful condition of the state of affairs followed in the process is so pathetic that it symbolises a rotten criminal justice system that no country could ever tolerate as long as it tries to uphold the rule of law. The process documented negates every conceivable excuse, acceptable in administrative process or in law or for that matter in science.
A forensic examination is an inevitable part of criminal jurisprudence and investigation. The documentary sheds light into the indisputable and alarming fact that a proper forensic examination is almost non-existent in the country and further that the entire process is open for manipulation at all levels. The fact that more than 60 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion strong population cannot expect – should they be unfortunate that their body be subjected to a forensic examination due to death from unnatural causes – that a proper procedure acceptable in law and science would be undertaken is as alarming as such a procedure does not exist in the country. What they could expect is their body be left to rot for days, if not weeks, and cut open by a Dom in such inhuman manners in perhaps an open ground near a broken shed what is called a mortuary building. What their relatives could expect is the left over of such crude dissection and parts of human remains left over by dogs and other natural scavengers, in a putrefied or horrifying form.
The entire process documented from the four states named above also shows the criminal disregard of the government to the entire process to what in many parts of the world is considered as a specialised science. The issue attracts a high level of attention given the fact that in India the number of extrajudicial executions and other forms of custodial deaths are on the increase during the past decade. It is shocking to realise that these reports prepared by doctors, who often do not see the dead body is one of the important documents and opinion the courts would depend to acquit or convict a person.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued specific guidelines on post mortem examination procedures to be followed in cases of custodial deaths. The guidelines require the autopsy procedures be video recorded. Had the NHRC been on receipt of such videos, and had they bothered to view them, the deplorable practices as depicted in the documentary could have been checked to a certain extent. Though the post mortem report is treated as an ‘expert opinion’ in a court of law during trial, the majority of these reports are prepared by medical officers of specialisation, including but not limited to a general medicine, ophthalmology, gynaecology, a paediatrician or a psychiatrist, none of them having expertise in forensic examination. In majority of cases these doctors are reluctant to perform the post mortem examination.
The documentary further throws light upon the despicable practice of caste-based-discrimination in India, where only a particular denomination of the Dalit community – the Doms – are forced to do the inhuman process of ripping apart a dead human. In many parts of the country where caste based prejudices are still strong the Doms find it impossible to find any other job or their children seek and obtain proper education. Doms are positioned in lowest tier of the caste hierarchy having disposal of the dead as their caste-based job. Due to their socio-economic vulnerability they are engaged in some of the most menial jobs. Assisting in mortuaries is one such job. The process also sheds light into the fact that in many states, the police is provided with a paltry amount of Rupees 70 per body for its entire handling.
With autopsy processes as depicted in the documentary, no justice could be expected through the country’s criminal justice process. At the moment it is a mere formality, executed in some of the most inhuman and crude forms, which not only makes a mockery of science and law, but also is a complete disrespect to humanity. MASUM and the AHRC is convinced that unless an immediate change is brought into the present practices as shown in the documentary of what is called in the country as a forensic examination, no matter what improvement is brought into the criminal justice process, justice will remain a phantom limb in India.
Watch the video:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKvaU3SvN_8&feature=player_embedded]
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Latest comments

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    It is important to know the conditions in India because it shows their standards. Is it any wonder that the Indian minister recently bought the cannard about the 13th told and re-told so many times. This is their standard so what do you expect. Our own justice system is also sliding into an abyss. Hope it does not get this bad. But who knows we can always compare it to India and say it is better and therefore justify it. Well done for exposing this who would have thought that anything like this could happen. It is as if they are living in the stone age. Disgusting shameful and pathetic.

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    Horrendous. A generalized crime against all humanity. This post exposes the hideous inner essence of the Indian State. Not only the criminal indictment of the Indian State in its forensic investigation process- which is inhuman-, but also its abominably hierchical social structure, where the mere existence of the DOMS, the lowest of the low castes destined to engage in the most menial work, but under such degrading and life-denying environment, and living under the most deplorable oppressive conditions. India, which boasts of its economic growth rate and its thriving democracy, the Land of Brahmiss and Bollywood, of Agni Missiles and Nuclear Reactors, treating its dead in the same pitiless and morally repugnant manner as it treats its billions of poor and oppressed masses. The people of Kashmir and political prisoners are treated with much the same contempt and degradadtion as the dead. yet, this State has the audacity to enforce democracy upon other South Asian States through armed intervention. This crime against Nature and Humanity should be taken up with the International Court of Justice, and where the hell is the UN when such horrendous crimes take place! But, the tribunal of History shall pass judgement on all such barbaric crimes, past and present- whether in India, Sri Lanka, US, Britain,or elsewhere.

    Warm congratulations to the MASUM and AHRC, and to Colombo Telegraph for exposing this reality. It brings shame upon all humanity. It alerts us to the danger facing humanity and civilisation by marauder states that parade as democracies. Stark realities rip open the veils of illusion and compel us to regain our shared humanity. Let us aspire for a world where such criminal abominations will be viewed as museum artifacts of a far by gone era

    Com. Surendra.

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    Where on earth do you come across a perfect judiciary system?Better ask George Bush jnr.He knows best.How he manipulated the election results in Florida along with his baby brother Jeb!Lets take all our cases to the US supreme courts.

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    Shouldn’t we justify the criminal injustice system we have in our country. We don’t anymore bother about having cumbersome autopsy procedures dealing with dead bodies. We make the bodies disappear or be killed by the police when the bodies belong to conveniently alleged criminals. At least in India they have some form of autopsies

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