Calcutta High Court: Surprised, how doctors missed vital aspects in first autopsy

The order of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha reads, "There are serious questions that are required to be addressed by the police and the IO"

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court, which after seeing the second postmortem report by the forensic expert had called the death of IIT Kharagpur student Faizan Ahmed, a ‘homicide’ in its order has also expressed ‘surprise’ at the fact that the doctors in their first autopsy report missed out on vital aspect of the deceased’s body.

In the four-page order comprising 19 points, the court of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha further instructed, “The Director of the CFSL shall cause an enquiry into the circumstances under which the omission occurred.”

On October 14, a third-year Mechanical Engineering student of IIT Kharagpur Faizan Ahmed’s partially decomposed body recovered from a hostel room. IIT authorities claimed that the 23-year-old Faizan, a resident of Tinsukia, Assam has committed suicide because he was in depression.

However, the family of Faizan, his mother Rehana and Salim Ahmed had refuted it and asserted that their son, who had secured AIR 11 in JEE, 2020 and was a member of Aerial Robotics as well as Robosoccer got murdered. The students of IIT Kharagpur had also protested for justice for more than a fortnight inside the campus. However, it did not make much difference to the authorities, while the first postmortem report did not hint at any injury in the body and the matter remains a suicide one.    

Witnessing all these, Faizan’s parents moved to the High Court. The court, after going through the first postmortem report and police case diary, found that there is no conclusive report on the cause of death. It asked retired forensic expert Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta to submit his report in this regard. Dr Gupta went through the video clippings of the first postmortem report and suspected that there were signs of Hematoma in the body of Faizan. He then requested the court to conduct a second autopsy. The court ordered the same to know the cause of the death. The body of Faizan was buried in Dibrugarh, from where it was exhumed and an autopsy was conducted on May 27 at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

Two hundred and thirty five days after the recovery of Faizan’s body, the court of Justice Mantha observed on June 6, “The matter now becomes an investigation into a likely Homicidal murder.”

And while ordering to Kharagpur police that it further adds, “There are serious questions that are required to be addressed by the police and the IO.”

Listen to the first reaction of Faizan Ahmed’s family and lawyer

The next order reads, “On the adjourned date the investigating officer shall submit a further report after considering the second postmortem report. The investigating officer shall be free to add additional sections to the FIR and include other persons as accused for investigation.”

The court ordered both police and Director CFSL to present a case diary by the next date and submit a fresh forensic report in a week.

The order said, “A fresh forensic report is submitted within a week of receipt of the samples. An expedition is required in the facts of the case.”

The court also felt a deep appreciation for the work done by the retired forensic expert Dr Ajay Gupta, and amicus curiae Sandip Kumar Bhattacharya, for declining any remuneration for appearing in the court.

It also instructed the police to arrange the re-transport of the mortal remains to Dibrugarh and handing it over to the family members of the deceased for the final burial.

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