REMARKS ON THE PM ANALYSIS
The dead body was said to be in advanced putrefactive stage. As such PM analysis commonly done in India as in this case is hardly of any use for investigation of a case of suspected murder. The following remarks are meant to be a rejoinder to the invalid conclusion derived from the PM analysis which appears to be tailor made for the police to hush up the case.
- The PM Report
The copy of the PM Report received by me is hand written in illegible hand writing. The following remarks are based on the typed copy of the original hand written PM report, prepared at Central Information Commission with the help of Dr. Anil Shandil who wrote the origina PM report, duly attested by Dr. Shandil and countersigned by the Chief Information Commissioner Shri Wajahat Habibulla on 26/02/2008.
- Brief History in the PM Report recorded the statement “the deceased along with his friends Engineering College
ki pas nahar me naha raha tha, jo doob gaya tha” was not an established fact, rather a matter for investigation. It
also included a description of the dead body in which the statement “jis ki bal wo ger huye the” was definitely not
true [see §4 para 1(b)(ii)].
- The General Description of the body in the PM Report has the following differences with our observations.
- The PM Report says “the body in advanced putrefactive stage, foul smelling, peeling of skin ”. But as we saw,
except for the face, greater part of the body - the torso, hands and legs were well preserved and did not suffer any degeneration or peeling of skin. Except during the time when we were taking the body from the mortuary to the
crematorium after post mortem sitting very close to the body we never got any smell of decomposition.
- The PM Report says “No scalp & axillary hair.” But, as we saw, some of his long scalp hairs well attached to the body were present on the back side. In fact, the Investigating Officer [I/O], ASI Babulal asked the attendant to turn the head to show us these hairs and pull some of these with the help of a tong to enable us to assess that the length of the hairs matched with those of my son.
- The PM Report says “scalp detached either side exposing the frontal and parietal area of skull.” But as we saw, the scalp was more or less intact since no part of the skull was visible.
- As we saw, the body looked rigid/stiff but there was no rigidity associated with the neck. The two hands were
rigidly fixed close to but raised above the chest with the right arm substantially higher up at an angle of about 45 degrees and the the right palm fully stretched and erect. The PM Report does not mention this unusual feature which we have never seen in any other corpse.
- As we saw, the jaws of the deceased were pressed against each other with a portion of the tongue protruding from the right side. The PM Report does not mention this.
- As we saw, there was a gaping site on the chest appearing like a wound. The chest was enlarged. PM report does not mention these.
- The PM Report is almost wholly non-informative with phrases like “highly decomposed” and “advanced stage of
putrefaction” occurring everywhere. The only point of any significance is “blackish mud seen” in Trachea and c/s of
lungs. But this is dubious for it is not possible to say that a substance
is mud merely by looking at it especially within organs which were said to be
Since the deceased did not know swimming he would not only inhale water but swallow water also. Why then no
blackish mud seen in the stomach and the bowel? In fact, as per the PM Report the stomach was empty.
- About External Injuries PM Report only says “Advanced stage of decomposition” which clearly does not rule out
such injuries. In fact, our observation in §4 para (b)(iv)–(vi) indicate that the deceased possibly experienced some violent act before his death.
- The statement in the PM report “stomach–empty” is apparently discrepant with the fact that the deceased had a lunch of chhola-kulcha only about two hours before he reportedly died.
- It is well-known that scalp hairs are useful for testng for drugs. Although some scalp hairs were definitely there, the PM report denies the presence of these [see §4 para (b)(ii)] and no sample of these was preseved and handed over to Police for CFSL examination.
- The underwear which was the only clothing on the dead body was not handed over to the Police for CFSL
examination, contrary to normal practice.
- The FSL Report
The following remarks are based on what was received by me.
- “Blood & Viscera samples are preserved in saline solution which prevents these from rotting for 45 days” [see under frontpage headline “Death cases go cold in forgotten viscera samples” in Hindustan Times, 16th October, 2006]. In the present case as per FSL report this was sent by the I/O to FSL after 65 days and thereafter, it was lying there for another two and a half months. This was so in addition to the fact that as per the PM report, all the organs from which the samples were taken were already in advanced stage of putrefaction. As such the samples tested were invalid.
- The FSL Report mentions presence of ethyl alcohol only and nothing else.
- The presence of ethyl alcohol in all the exhibits of viscera and the suspiciously high value of 552 mg/dl for exhibit '1C' [blood sample] is spurious since the samples tested were invalid [see para 2(a)].
- The Subsequent Opinion
- The statement “the dead body was found drowned in the canal” is unwarranted as it is not based on actual observation and does not constitute an opinion.
- The conclusion that “the cause of death is asphyxia as a result of antemortem drowning” is fallacious
for the following reasons.
- It is clear that this is solely based on the assertion "blackish mud seen in trachea and c/s of lungs" [in the PM report], which is dubious [see §4 para 1(c)].
- No sample of the so called blackish mud was preserved and matched by chemical analysis with the contaminants of the canal water near the site where the deceased reportedly drowned.
- Presence of mud in the trachea and lungs is not a definite proof of antemortem drowning. For water/mud can enter the airways and the lungs even after death. [(1) Medical Jurisprudence by A.S. Taylor, page 551; (2) Principles of Forensic Medicine by W.A. Guy, page 235; (3) A Treatise on Medical Jurisprudence by F. Wharton and M. Stille, § 933 page 768]
- That the stomach was empty and no blackish mud seen in the stomach or the bowel indicate either sudden death or death before submersion [Bodies in Water by D.J. Pounder, Lecture notes, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee, para 13 of summary].
The conclusion that “alcohol presence in the blood shows intake of alcohol prior to death” is also fallacious for the following reasons.
- It is solely based on the assertion “Exhibit ‘1C’ was found to contain ‘ethyl alcohol’ 552 mg per 100 ml of bood.” which is spurious [see §4 para 2(c)].
- As per the PM report the body was in an advanced putrefactive stage and it is well known that endogenous producion of ethanol [ethyl alcohol] in the body starts soon after death by the action of microbes on the dead body.
- No sample of vitreus humur from the eye or urine from the bladder [which are usually unaffected by the microbes] were available for measurement of vitreus humur alcohol or urine alcohol to corroborate intake of alcohol prior to death. Hence presence of alcohol in post mortem blood do not corroborate intake of alcohol pror to death (see, for example, “Dead Sober or Dead Drunk?” [Editorial, Saturday 10th January, 1998] British Medical Journal no. 7125, vol. 316).