A case has been registered against St Thomas Mission Hospital in Alappuzha.

Representative image for a deceased person. A tag is seen to be attached to the foot of the body covered with a white blanketImage for representation
news Crime Friday, October 23, 2020 - 10:55

A hospital in Kerala has been booked by the police after the body of a deceased woman kept in the mortuary was discovered to be in a deteriorated condition by her family. St Thomas Mission Hospital in Alappuzha district has been booked by the Vallikunnam police station on the basis of a complaint by the deceased woman’s family.

21-year-old Akshaya, a Kayamkulam native, was found dead allegedly by suicide, on Tuesday. According to police officials, the family had undergone a COVID-19 test after the woman’s death and had kept her body in the mortuary of the hospital, while waiting for the results.

“Today (Thursday), when the result came, she tested negative and the family had gone to take back the mortal remains for funeral. It was then that they discovered that the body was in a deteriorated condition. Apparently, the freezer where the body was kept was not working,” said an official of the Vallikunnam police station. The body was still identifiable, but it had started to deteriorate, the official said.

Following this, the family filed a complaint against hospital authorities and on Thursday evening, a case was registered. According to police, unnamed officials of the hospital have been booked under Section 297 (Trespassing on burial places, etc) of the Indian Penal Code. As per the provision in the law, ‘any indignity to any human corps’ is punishable with “imprisonment of either a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both”.

Last year, a similar incident was reported from Thiruvananthapuram district, where a government taluk hospital was at the centre of a row after a body kept in a mortuary was found in a decomposed state. According to reports, the freezer at the mortuary of Government Taluk Hospital in Varkala was not working, similar to what apparently happened in the present case in Alappuzha.

Read: Presumed dead and kept in mortuary freezer, Kerala woman wakes up after an hour