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Doctors can be prime "testifiers" & ensure justice to victims of sexual,domestic abuse: CJ

Srinagar, Oct 20 (UNI) Highlighting the significance of a doctor acting as the first responder to the victim of domestic or sexual violence, Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal on Saturday said the dying declaration of a victim supported by the testimony of the doctor, could send the people involved in the crime to gallows.
The Chief Justice was speaking at a day-long training programme for presiding officers and doctors on how to handle survivors of sexual violence at hospitals. The training held under the banner of High Court of J&K was organized in collaboration with the Health Department here at J&K State Judicial Academy.
Justice Alok Aradhe, Judge High Court, J&K, and Chairman of State Judicial Academy, Abdul Rashid Malik, Director State Judicial Academy, Yash Pal Bourney, Member Secretary, State Legal Service Authority, Dr Farida Noor, Professor and Head, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, and doctors from various State Government hospitals were present in the meeting.
Addressing the galaxy of doctors, and legal experts, the Chief Justice said the purpose of holding this programme is to the explain the significant role a doctor plays in helping a victim to get justice at times.
Justice Gita said, "in a case of domestic violence, a doctor while trying to ascertain the reasons behind the patient's condition, usually records the patient's history.
"If the victim dies, the same statement recorded by the doctor before the death of the patient may be treated by the Judge as the "dying declaration" of the victim. The dying declaration, supported by the testimony of the doctor confirming that the victim actually made that statement, can be relied upon to convict the husband or the in-laws or whosoever, has committed the crime, and at times it could even be relied upon to send the accused to gallows," Justice Gita said.
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