Punjab police informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that 1,299 unidentified dead bodies were found in the province over the last two years.
Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza submitted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in the SC regarding the registration and tracking of unidentified dead bodies. He also submitted the inspector general Punjab’s report, which stated that 1,299 unidentified dead bodies were received in 2013 and 2014. Of these, 1,248 dead bodies were handed over for burial, adding that the remaining 51 bodies were handed over to anatomy department.
The report further states that if a body is unidentified, the officer making the investigation shall record a careful description of it, giving all marks, peculiarities, deformities and distinctive features of it and also take the figure impression of it in addition to taking all the reasonable steps to secure identification. He shall publish a description in the Criminal Intelligent Gazette where such action appears desirable, it said.
According to the SOP, the data of unidentified dead bodies will be gathered by the SHO concerned and uploaded on the web within 24 hours of the information received with consultation of the medical superintendent.
Meanwhile, Punjab health department has also stated in its report that in accordance with the rules and regulations, the investigation officer (IO) will bring the dead bodies to the hospital for the postmortem examination.
The report states that IO will hand over the dead body to the head of Anatomy department if not identified.
Meanwhile, the top court has expressed unhappiness over Sindh and K-P governments for not submitting procedure regarding the registration of unidentified dead bodies. In response, law officers representing the two provinces requested the court to give them 20 more days to submit their respective replies over the procedure.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2015.