The Centre on Monday allowed conducting post-mortem after sunset in hospitals with adequate infrastructure, except in cases of homicide, suicide, rape and decomposed bodies.
Referring to the development, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a tweet in Hindi said, "An end to the system put in place by the British! Post-mortem can be conducted round-the-clock. In furtherance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea of good governance, the health ministry has decided that post-mortem can be conducted even after sunset in hospitals which have the facility to carry out the procedure at night."
"In response to the multiple references received by the Union Health Ministry from various sources and in line with the government's commitment to promote ease of living by reducing burden imposed due to compliance to government processes, changes have been made in the post-mortem protocols to allow for the procedure to be conducted after sunset effective from today," the health ministry said.
"Apart from friends and relatives of the the dead, this new procedure also promotes organ donation and transplant as organs can be harvested in the stipulated time window after the procedure," it said.
The multiple representations to the ministry in this regard were examined by a technical committee in the Directorate General of Health Services, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
It was ascertained that some institutes are already performing night-time post-mortem. In view of the rapid advancement and improvement in technology, especially availability of required lighting and infrastructure required for post-mortem, performing night time post-mortem in hospitals is now feasible, the ministry said.
The protocol stipulates that post-mortem for organ donation be taken up on priority and conducted even after sunset at the hospitals which have the infrastructure for conducting such post-mortem on a regular basis, it said.
The health ministry further said the fitness and adequacy of infrastructure, among others, shall be assessed by the hospital-in-charge to ensure that there is no dilution of evidentiary value.
"It is also to be ensured by the facility that video recording of post-mortem shall be done for all post-mortem conducted in the night, to rule out any suspicion and preserved for future reference for legal purposes," it underlined.
However, cases under categories such as homicide, suicide, rape and decomposed bodies should not be subjected for post-mortem during night time unless there is a law and order situation, the ministry added.