No final autopsy report to Odisha woman after 18 months; HC seeks AIIMS’ reply

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today sought responses from AIIMS and city police on a Odisha-based woman’s plea claiming she has not yet received the final post-mortem report of her husband who had died while he was visiting the national capital on business in 2013.

The Bhubaneswar resident said that in the absence of the report, she was facing acute financial hardship as she was unable to claim insurance or conduct banking activities.

Terming as “very unfortunate” the conduct of AIIMS and the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sarojini Nagar area where the businessman had died, Justice V P Vaish issued notice to them and sought their replies by August 10.

The court also asked the SHO to be personally present on the next date of hearing.

The deceased’s wife Jharana Pradhan, a resident of Bhubaneswar, has sought directions to All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and the police to provide her with the final report of her husband’s post-mortem.

The 42-year old woman has also asked for a declaration from the court that the inordinate delay in providing final post-mortem report was “improper and unjust”.

She has also sought compensation for the “harassment and loss” caused to her, saying a final report was insisted upon by the bank where there was a pending loan transaction started by her husband and also to settle the insurance claim.

She has claimed she was facing acute financial hardship as each day’s delay in getting the report was leading to unwarranted bank interest.

In her petition, filed through advocate Suresh Tripathy, Pradhan has claimed her husband, while on a business trip to Delhi on December 28, 2013, met an “untimely death” due to severe cardiac arrest. The police sent the body to AIIMS for post-mortem, which was conducted on December 29, 2013.

According to the petition, the initial post-mortem report indicated cause of death of the deceased had been kept pending till the toxicological analysis of the viscera was made available to doctor conducting the post-mortem.

“It is almost one and half year since that. The final post-mortem report is not made available to the petitioner (deceased’s wife)….,” the woman has said in her plea.