A new post-mortem regulation has been implemented granting local law enforcement authority to investigate suspicious deaths.
The Criminal Procedure Act granted the power of conducting post-mortems on deceased individuals to identify causes of demise to local law enforcement. However, the Act granted the power of actually implementing the specific regulation of conduct related to post-mortem Maldives Police Service.
While the period of implementing the specific regulations on post-mortem have been due for over one and half years, Maldives Police Service announced implementation of the new regulation that grants the authority with power of conducting investigations on cases of possible homicide, suicide and any death with elements of suspicious activities or conduct.
Additionally the regulation grants power to Maldives Police to conduct post-mortem investigations in cases related to accident victims and death due to possible negligence.
The regulation further cites that post-mortem investigations can be conducted exclusively by authorities or entities that have been permitted by the Maldives government, as well as international bodies that have authority and possible jurisdiction to involve in such cases.
Moreover, permission for post-mortem investigations can be exclusively granted by the Commissioner of Police at any given time.
In addition to this, should there be no further requirement of any investigation on the deceased body after a post-mortem probe, the deceased body should be handed over to their family, next of kin or relatives.
If the death is of an expatriate then the deceased body should be handed over to the relevant embassy following a post-mortem investigation.
In incidents where the victim's identity cannot be ascertained easily due to damage to face or body, all necessary investigations to identify the victim must be executed. Upon identification, the bodies must be provided with a unique identification number and subsequently recorded in a specified database.