Report No. 206
Duties and Powers of Coroners
7. (1) When the Coroner is informed that the dead body of a person is lying within his jurisdiction and there is reasonable cause to suspect that such person has died under any of the circumstances mentioned in section 11 or has died a sudden death of which the cause is unknown, the Coroner may proceed to hold a preliminary inquiry on the body.
Provided that if a Coroner is undertaking a journey outside his district and finds a dead body on the road or at any other place lying unattended, and in his opinion immediate and urgent action is necessary to be taken, he will also have extra-territorial jurisdiction to take cognizance of that dead body.
(2) For the purpose of an inquiry under subsection (1), [the Coroner may], as son as practicable, after receipt of the information proceed to view and examine the body. Such view and examination shall be held in the presence of the police officer to whose jurisdiction the case belongs and, if possible, in the presence of the relations or friends, if any, of the deceased and the Coroner may reduce to writing such observations as the appearances of the body requires. When the inquiry is concluded if the Coroner is satisfied as to the cause of death and if a post mortem examination is in his opinion not necessary, the Coroner may authorize the body to be disposed of.
8. Where the Coroner has reason to believe that death has occurred within his jurisdiction in any of the circumstances mentioned in section 11 or 12 and that owing to the destruction of the body by fire or otherwise, or disposal thereof in contravention of any law for the time being in force, or to the fact that the body is lying in a place from which it cannot be recovered, an inquest cannot be held except by virtue of the provisions of this section, he may report the facts to the State Government and the State Government may, if it considers desirable so to do, direct an inquest to be held touching the death.
When such direction is given, an inquest shall be held accordingly by the Coroner and the provisions of this Act shall apply with such modifications as may be necessary in consequence of the inquest being held otherwise than on or after view of the body.