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Medical Practitioners Can Conduct Necessary Tests On Accused If There Are Indications Of Custodial Torture: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court clarified that the circular issued by the Director of Health will not preclude doctors conducting medical examinations of persons accused in criminals cases from ordering appropriate investigations as they deem fit if there are indications or complaints of custodial torture. Justice PB Suresh Kumar decided so while hearing a petition filed by a government medical practitioner. Advocate R Gopan appeared on behalf of the petitioner. Under Section 53 of CrPC, the petitioner is dutybound to subject an accused to a medical examination. However, the provision is silent regarding the exact tests that should be performed on the accused to detect internal injuries. Therefore, the convention was to note down the external injuries in the wound certificate which will be produced before the Court. Nevertheless, after the custodial death of Rajkumar in 2019, Justice Narayana Kurup being the Judicial Commission came up with certain recommendations to be followed by the police, doctors, and jail authorities on 5th January 2021.

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