The Forensic Department of Khyber Medical College University has requested the government to approve 17 new charges for its services. Among all the charges mentioned was also the cost of rape victims’ medical exam. And it’s safe to say, these hefty price tags will only make the victims feel more oppressed.
The Forensic Department deals with the physical evidence collected from crime/incident scenes. It looks for fingerprints, blood, or hair matches and carries out DNA testing. In some cases, the department also uses image modification tools to search for criminals on the run.
From trace evidence analysis and toxicology to even linguistics – the department presents important reports on criminal cases. However, with the demand for an increase in charges, the Forensic Department of KMU has worried the public.
A meeting of the Management Committee took place on 14th February, where the request was put forward.
We provide forensic facilities to the law enforcement agencies, courts and other departments which include autopsy, medico-legal examination, age estimation, toxicology and DNA analysis.
An official of the department spoke to Express Tribune and revealed the details of the meeting.
For the district Peshawar autopsy cases the department will charge Rs5,000 per case while for the cases referred from other districts the charges will be Rs25,000 per postmortem.
In addition to this, he also revealed that paternity tests would cost Rs, 20 thousand.
For drug abuse analysis Rs3,000 charges have to be paid. Urine test and alcohol analysis will cost Rs2,000. Test for poison detection to cost Rs4,000 while freezer charges for dead bodies will be Rs1,500 per 24 hours
Rights activist Tamur Kamal says this decision is not one that will be appreciated by the public.
When you go to a police station they often ask you to pay for the diesel for police mobiles. Now they will ask the general public to pay the charges of autopsy and even medical examination of rape victims. So the decision is not a welcome one.
The Dean of the Khyber Medical College University says this is just a proposal. He also added that the revenue generated from this will be used to strengthen the hospital’s services.
The most difficult medical procedure is autopsy as doctors are obliged to go to courts for their opinion. They even face threats from the affected parties.
The revenue generated from these charges will go to government exchequer and the financial gains from it will strengthen the hospital and college services.
Whether or not the government will approve these requests made by the Forensic Department of Khyber Medical College University is yet to be known.