The Orissa High Court has directed the state government to issue a circular asking doctors to write all prescriptions and medico-legal reports in legible handwriting, if possible, in capital letters or in a typed form.
This will ensure that the judicial system does not suffer from “unnecessary fatigue” in reading those documents, the order said.
This direction came from the High Court last week when Justice S K Panigrahi found it difficult to decide a case, as the post-mortem examination report annexed in the petition was not legible and could not be comprehended.
A petitioner had approached the court seeking a direction to the government to consider his representation for ex-gratia assistance as his elder son had died due to snakebite.
In compliance with an earlier order, the doctor who had written the post-mortem examination report appeared before the court through virtual mode, read out the incomprehensible document and rendered his opinion. Following this, the court was able to realise that it was a snakebite case and adjudicated over it.
“In many cases, the casual approach of most of the doctors while writing the post-mortem reports, is affecting comprehension of medico-legal cases very badly, and the judicial system finds it very difficult to read those (reports) to come to a definite conclusion,” Justice Panigrahi observed in his order.
He said that the tendency of writing such “zigzag handwriting”, which cannot be read by a common man or judicial officers, has become a fashion among the doctors of the state.
“Hence, this court directs the Chief Secretary, State of Odisha, to issue directions to all doctors of the state to write post-mortem reports and prescriptions in capital letters or in legible handwriting,” the high court said in the order passed on January 4.
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