Forensic report must for all poison cases: SC

At a time when the final word is still not out on the mysterious death of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, the Supreme Court has asked the investigating agency to send viscera to forensic examination in all cases of suspected poisoning.

 In an important verdict, the apex court said it is necessary to obtain forensic examination of the viscera – parts of body’s internal organs – for ascertaining the reasons for the death of the victim as witnesses tend to turn hostile during the trial.

In the case of 52-year-old Sunanda, who was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on Friday night, the investigating agency had preserved her viscera and sent for forensic examination.

However, this practice was not followed in all cases.

Dealing with an appeal filed by a man from Bihar, the court noted that the police had not ensured forensic examination of viscera of the victim.

“Though the Forensic Science Lab (FSL) report is not mandatory in all cases, in cases where poisoning is suspected, it would be advisable and in the interest of justice to ensure that the viscera is sent to the FSL and the FSL report is obtained.

This is because not in all cases there is adequate strong other evidence on record to prove that the deceased was administered poison by the accused,” a bench of Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and J Chelameswar said.

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