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HC notice to Maha over PIL for computerisation of FMRs

Writing a prescription or medical examination notes

A High Court bench today issued notices to Maharashtra’s health and Home ministries over illegible writing in FMR

Writing a prescription or medical examination notesNagpur: A High Court bench today issued notices to Maharashtra’s health and Home ministries over illegible writing in Forensic Medical Report (FMR), a medico-legal document.

Peeved by the illegible handwriting of medicos especially in FMRs, including clinical forensic and postmortem reports, a Sevagram-based forensic doctor approached the court for computerization of all FMRs and its generation through forensic medical software.

The petitioner, Dr Indrajit Khandekar, who is in-charge of state’s first clinical forensic medicine unit at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) Sevagram (Wardha), filed a petition on the ground that illegible handwriting of doctors in FMRs often creates lot of problems for courts and criminal justice system is adversely affected.

His plea is based on a detailed study report conducted by him, which he had earlier submitted to government agencies.

A division bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Z A Haq today issued notices to health and Home ministries of state.

Citing Khandekar’s study, his counsel Vijay Patait contended that most of the handwriting of doctors on FMRs is not legible and a lot of time is consumed in deciphering it. He also highlighted problems posed during criminal and civil investigation because of the illegible handwriting.

Advocate Patait contended that the FMRs prepared by doctors in cases of sexual assault, injuries in cases of assault, attempt to murder, road traffic accident, poisoning cases, person causing nuisance under the influence of alcohol, arrested person, dowry death, torture and murder cases, including post-mortem reports etc play a major role in meeting the ends of justice.

He further argued that illegible handwriting of medicos in FMRs is a cause of worry and even courts have expressed displeasure over the handwriting of doctors.

The PIL pointed out that illegible handwriting causes tremendous problems in day-to-day functioning of the courts and it is one of the impediments in meeting the ends of justice, it leads to wastage of valuable time of judiciary during the trial of cases, is difficult to read for deciding the cases and creates confusion.

Government pleader Nitin Sambhare accepted the notice on behalf of state ministry of health, which is returnable within five weeks.

The PIL also pointed out that sometimes the concerned doctors, who prepare the medico-legal report, either leave the services of the hospital or are not traceable and other doctors are directed to appear in the court in their place, but due to illegible handwriting of the concerned doctor, the one deputed in the place is not able to decipher it.

Thus, it causes great inconvenience in communicating the exact facts mentioned in the postmortem reports and FMRs during their evidence examination, which adversely affects the ends of justice and unnecessarily consumes lot of time of the court, the petition added.


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