No Post-mortem report, No death-Certificate; No justice?


Pallavi Sareen

Jammu, March 15: No CCTV footage, no post-mortem report; no one knows how he died. “No transparency,” says the family. “No hard evidence,” says the enquiry report. How did a foot injury lead to the death of 28-year-old Ajay Kumar and who is responsible?

28-year-old Ajay Kumar who belonged to Marh area of Jammu died under mysterious circumstances in Govt Medical College Jammu. Nearly two years later, the family neither has the death certificate nor the post-mortem report telling them the cause of death.

They do, however, after a struggle of eight months came in possession of the magisterial enquiry report which denied their allegations of medical negligence based on two factors. The statement of Doctors, paramedical staff and ward in-charge as well as the duty roaster submitted by the same.

Also Watch: #This Jammu Family lost their only son to medical negligence

Ajay Kumar, who was the bread-earner of the family had reached the emergency ward of GMC Jammu with a foot injury. Within hours of being treated with medicines and prescribed injections, he collapsed and died. His attendants alleged that two lady paramedical staff had injected him in the abdomen with the wrong injection which led to his death. After media arrived, leaders intervened and the family’s cry for justice grew louder, a magisterial enquiry was ordered to enquire the circumstances which led to Ajay’s death. The magisterial enquiry that was meant to probe whether this was a case of medical negligence was concluded after eleven months while the post mortem report was still pending. Twenty months later, Ajay’s family says that the report is still pending but the persons who were allegedly involved are yet to be identified.

While the family constantly demanded that the CCTV footage of the incident be checked, the enquiry report by the then Sub-divisional magistrate Marh, Tariq Hussain submits “CCTV footage installed in the emergency ward is not operational and hence the presence of the staff could not be verified.”

While the report, on one hand, says, “the Board of Directors constituted for post-mortem had reserved the opinion to the cause of death till the receipt of chemical analysis report”, on the other hand, it concludes, “The act of omission/commission on the part of the medical team has not been proved during the conduct of enquiry.”

It also states, “The possibility cannot be ruled out that the deceased might be having any other allergic problem of any medicine which he otherwise has to briefed(sic) medical team.”

Ajay’s father Vijay Kumar told The Straight Line that his case was being deliberately buried to safeguard the staff of Govt Medical College.

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He said, “Why else is the post-mortem report still pending after twenty months? There is definitely something they’re hiding. Initially, they had said it would take six months.” He further asked how the magisterial enquiry could be concluded claiming medical staff was not at fault when the post-mortem report was still pending.

Ajay’s sister Renu said, “It has been nearly two years and they are not even giving us the death certificate with the right file number. They say ‘we don’t have any file’. We have the file number, how come they don’t have the file?”

She also stated that she had to call the sub-divisional magistrate repeatedly for the enquiry report. While the report had been submitted to District Magistrate in June, 2020, she says, “We had to pay a lawyer Rs 2000 to file an RTI to get a copy and we only got it last month. They kept saying, the report is yet to be submitted.”

Ajay Kumar’s family is among the few scheduled caste families who live in the Channu Chak village. Known among locals as “the ones who lost their son in GMC”, they say they have received no help from the political leaders of the area either. Without sufficient resources to fight a court case, the family says they have been “cheated and betrayed by the administration who will strive to protect their own instead of giving justice to the poor.”

“Doctors se doctors ke baarey mein puchoge toh who sach thode hi bolenge. SDM sahib ne chai paani doctors ke sath piya, aur humei bewakoof banatey rahey,” said Ajay’s mother. (If you ask a doctor about another doctor, they would never tell the truth. SDM sir sat with doctors for tea and made a fool out of us.)


Pallavi Sareen
Pallavi Sareen
Pallavi Sareen is a journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir. She is the editor-in-chief of Straight Line and tweets at @pallavisareen_


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