Question: What is a Post Mortem Report? Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What is a Post Mortem Report?] Answer The statement under Section 174 cannot be used as a substantive piece of evidence as such a statement would be within the inhibition of Section 162 which provides inter alia that no statement of any person, if… Read More »

Question: What is a Post Mortem Report? Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What is a Post Mortem Report?] Answer The statement under Section 174 cannot be used as a substantive piece of evidence as such a statement would be within the inhibition of Section 162 which provides inter alia that no statement of any person, if recorded, by a police officer in the course of an investigation shall be signed by the person making it. Behind this provision is a wholesome rule of public policy...

Question: What is a Post Mortem Report?

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What is a Post Mortem Report?]

Answer

The statement under Section 174 cannot be used as a substantive piece of evidence as such a statement would be within the inhibition of Section 162 which provides inter alia that no statement of any person, if recorded, by a police officer in the course of an investigation shall be signed by the person making it.

Behind this provision is a wholesome rule of public policy that witnesses at the trial should be free, to tell the truth, unhampered by anything they might have been made to say to the police. Therefore, the statements under section 174 can at the most be used only as a previous statement to corroborate and contradict the person making it at the trial; held in Ch Razik Ram v. Ch JS Chauhan, AIR 1975 SC 667.

There is the following further ruling of the Supreme Court in Munshi Prasad v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 3031 on this point which defines a Post Mortem Report:

The post-mortem report is a document that by itself is not substantive evidence. It is the doctor’s statement in the court, which has the credibility of substantive evidence and not the report, which in normal circumstances ought to be used only for refreshing the memory of the doctor witness or to contradict whatever he might say in the witness box.

In a similar vein, the inquest report also cannot be termed to be basic or substantive evidence being prepared by the police personnel who is a non-medical man and at the earliest stage of the proceeding. A mere omission of a particular injury or indication in the report of an additional inquiry cannot invalidate the prosecution case. Discrepancy occurring between the inquest report and the post-mortem report can neither be termed to be fatal nor even a suspicious circumstance, which would warrant a benefit to the accused and the resultant dismissal of the prosecution case.


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Updated On 12 May 2022 11:18 PM GMT
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