In the MLR, which TOI is in possession of, the doctor conducting the exam had written, “On the basis of local examination, I am of the opinion that there are signs of use of force. However, opinion regarding penetration and intercourse is subject to the pending availability of FSL (forensic science lab) reports.” When TOI contacted the doctor, he declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the report, and said the document would be produced in court. All sections marked for the presence of semen had “do not know” written against them. It had also noted the patient had “loss of consciousness at the time of the incident” and “pain during or after the incident”. A UV exam was not done “because (the) body (had been) wiped several times”. The examination was carried out on September 22, the day the girl spoke to the police for the first time since regaining consciousness in hospital. According to the MLR, the “informant alleged that the survivor was sexually assaulted by four known persons of the same village when she (was) doing some work in the fields”.
The same day, the chairman of the college’s neurosurgery department wrote to the casualty medical officer of the hospital’s emergency and trauma centre, saying, “Patient is critical so kindly arrange magistrate dying declaration.” In that, the girl said she was gang-raped.
The MLR, which is recorded by a doctor, was the first to document her state. It had found no “injuries” or “abnormality” of the pudenda, and ruled that the cervix and vagina were “healthy”.
The forensic report, prepared by a lab, was based on samples that had been sent 11 days after the incident, as earlier reported by TOI. The delay was partly on account of the fact that the first FIR had only mentioned attempted murder because the victim had not gained consciousness to be able to give her statement, according a senior police officer. When she did, additional charges of gang-rape were added to the FIR and samples taken. Eight days had already passed by then. The samples were finally sent to the lab another three days later.
On the basis of that forensic report, which did not find the presence of semen, ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar had ruled out rape. The postmortem report from Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, where she died on September 29, had attributed the death to “trauma”, noting that her private parts and “anal orifice” had “multiple old healed tears”. The AMU medical college resident doctors association president Dr Md Hamza told TOI, “Samples for FSL analysis were collected on September 22 and were tested on September 25. Hence they can’t substantiate rape. But a preliminary medico-legal report, which was prepared on September 22, clearly stated ‘signs of force’. The girl had given her statement before a medical officer and magistrate.”
Union health ministry guidelines for collecting samples for central or state forensic science labs in cases of sexual violence state, “The likelihood of finding evidence after 72 hours (3 days) is greatly reduced; however it is better to collect evidence up to 96 hours in case the survivor may be unsure of the number of hours lapsed since the assault.” Evidence on the outside of the body and on materials like clothing can be collected even after 96 hours. The MLR had said the girl’s clothes and undergarments had been “changed at the time of admission in the hospital”, adding that “clothes worn at the time of incidence (sic) are collected and sealed”.