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delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court has directed the central and city governments, the civic body and other departments which runs hospitals to immediately hold a high-level meeting and come up with suggestions on improving the institutions which are in a “deplorable state”.

A division bench of Justice P.K Bhasin and Justice J.R. Midha directed all of them to give suggestions and recommendations on how to improve the conditions of hospitals. The court was hearing a plea where a prisoner’s organs had gone missing after his death. In the inquiry report by a magistrate, it was suggested that the organs may have been eaten by rodents, but the deceased’s family Thursday contested the report and raised doubts about the correctness of the reasons given.

The court, considering the plea made by the family members of the deceased, directed the authorities to preserve all medical records including the post mortem report and treatment sheet of the jail hospital. Saying it will give due consideration to the grievances of the deceased’s family as it was concerned with maintaining the “dignity of the dead in hospitals”, the court posted the matter for consideration Feb 26. In December last year, the court had ordered a magisterial enquiry after it was informed that the post-mortem report of the deceased indicated the right eyeball and soft tissue of visible part of the right ear were missing.

In the report the magistrate has said: “The eye was not removed deliberately or intentionally by any human being. Rather, it is a case of mischief by rodents, that could have been averted, if the hospital authorities would have been more careful and vigilant.” The victim, Raj Kumar, a convict serving life term for killing his wife, was admitted in Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIPMT) for TB treatment on Nov 27, 2013 and died on Dec 9. His body was kept in the hospital’s mortuary. When the body was shifted to another hospital for post-mortem as RBIPMT does not have the facility to conduct autopsy, some of his body parts were found missing. The inquiry report said the mortuary had no cold storage for preservation of dead bodies and there was urgent need to repair the damaged door, to prevent the rodents and other small animals getting inside.

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