'Dead' man returns home a week after his funeral

A hospital is at the centre of a major blunder after the body of a patient was declared 'unidentified' before another family took possession of that body.

Goverdhan Prajapat was under treatment at the state-run RK Hospital in Rajasthan, India, when the relatives of Omkar Lal Gadulia claimed the body.

Gadulia, a liquor addict, had gone to Udaipur without informing his family on May 11. He was admitted to a hospital owing to some liver-related problem.

Gadulia’s family was living with his brother after the coronavirus-induced lockdown, police said.

On the same day, Prajapat was taken from Mohi area to the RK Hospital by an ambulance service arranged by some public representatives. He died during treatment, they said.

“We had got a letter from the hospital authorities that a body was lying unclaimed at the mortuary for three days. We then circulated photographs of the deceased man on various fronts to identify the body,” Kankroli police station SHO Yogendra Vyas told PTI.

He said over a dozen people came to the hospital on May 15 to identify the body.

Gaduilia's family members wrongly identified the body to be that of Gadulia going by a similar scar on his right hand and appearance, and the police handed over the body without conducting any post-mortem and DNA test.

“The body was identified by the family members. DNA testing and post-mortem by a medical board is conducted when the body is unidentified following which the body is usually handed over to municipality for cremation,” Vyas said.

The body was taken away and the final rites were performed on May 15.

However, Gadulia returned home on May 23 and was shocked to learn that he was believed dead.

Later, the police launched an investigation and identified the body which Gadulia’s family had cremated as that of Goverdhan Prajapat.

“Police were nowhere at fault in this case. The body was declared unidentified by the hospital authorities,” Vyas said.