In an insensitive move, the Forensics Department of Khyber Medical College University proposed a plan to charge rape victims Pakistani Rs 25,000 for medical examination and Rs 5,000 for an autopsy for the local residents of Peshawar, reported The Express Tribune.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Management Committee held on February 14 in which 17 new charges were approved. Police Department already has a limited investigation budget and the introduction of such high charges will likely force local police stations to ask the victims' families to pay for not only autopsy but also DNA tests and medical examination of rape victims.
"When you go to a police station they often ask you to pay for the diesel for police vehicles. 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," said a rights activist Tamur Kamal while talking to The Express Tribune.The proposed plan also suggested charges for keeping corpses in the cold storage to Rs 1,500 per 24 hours. For DNA testing Rs 18,000 has been fixed.
"For the district Peshawar autopsy cases the department will charge Rs 5,000 per case while for the cases referred from other districts the charges will be Rs 25,000 per post-mortem," said an official of the department, adding that for kinship and paternity test Rs 20,000 fee has been proposed.
"For drug abuse analysis Rs 3,000 charges have to be paid. Urine tests and alcohol analysis will cost Rs 2,000. Test for poison detection to cost Rs 4,000 while freezer charges for dead bodies will be Rs 1,500 per 24 hours," he informed The Express Tribune.
The unclaimed bodies are sent to the Khyber Medical College University for cold storage by the local police where they are stored sometimes for months till their identification and retrieval by the family. The Express Tribune reported that the decision to introduce 17 new charges was taken to meet the operational expenditures of the Forensic Department.
(With inputs from ANI)