In a bizarre case that exposed the pathetic state of health facilities in Madhya Pradesh, postmortem at the district hospital in Ashok Nagar was held up because there was no electricity to light up the room as the electric wires for the connection were faulty. It was only after the police bought a roll of electric wires from a nearby shop that the postmortem could be carried out.
The need for a postmortem rose after Anju Soni, wife of Kamlesh Soni, died at a private hospital in the town. The police suspected foul play and had shifted her dead body to the morgue, from where her body was taken for postmortem at the hospital. But on arrival, it was found that there were no lights in the postmortem room. When even after much struggle, the lights did not operate, police at the morgue had to budge in and buy a new role of new electric wire.
According to the government’s directive, postmortem should be conducted only in daylight hours between sunrise and sunset. Although the woman’s body reached the hospital at 5 pm, the postmortem could not be conducted due to the lack of sufficient light. The staff did try to arrange lights in the room, but the doctors refused to conduct such an important task in gas-lit lights.
The policemen hurriedly arranged for two halogen bulbs and went out for arranging electric wires. It was reportedly after a long struggle that power was restored. A team of three doctors performed the postmortem, which got over after 8 pm.
According to Dr. Ajay Ghelot, the rule of completing postmortem’s by the sunset is passe now, as newest directives indicate that the same could be done till 8 pm at district hospitals. After that, only emergency and special cases will be allowed, after getting permission from postmortem collectors, he said.