The Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology is on the 2nd floor of KS Hegde Medical Academy, Nithyananda Nagar, Derlakatte. Dr. Mahabalesh Shetty is head of the department since 2007. Our department comprises of three teaching and three non-teaching staff members.
The Department is a pioneer in NDPS tests in the Dakshina Kannada district for law enforcement authorities, having first introduced the tests in the region. The Department caters to the needs of not only the Dakshina Kannada district but also to many neighbouring districts. Our department is the front-runner in tackling drug menace in the district and have been delivering regular talks on the menace of drug and its abuse to students of various colleges, pre-universities and high schools. The Department has also conducted many programmes for the training of teachers across Dakshina Kannada district on how to deal with students associated with substance abuse.
Our department does round the clock post-mortem examination. We also have been conducting sexual assault victim/ survivor examination as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Welfare guidelines, regularly through the Collaborative Child Response Unit (CCRU). The faculty have issued expert opinions on various vital cases across the district and beyond — our department issues disability certificates for KS Hegde hospital patients. The faculty have served as forensic experts and medico-legal consultants to CID (Karnataka), CBI and furnished numerous expert opinions on medico-legal cases to the Government of Kerala and Karnataka. On request of the police, the faculty visit Crime scenes regularly across Dakshina Kannada district and have also served as Honorary Faculty at the Police Training School in Mangalore. Our sincere efforts and expertise in medico-legal autopsies has been hailed by the Police Commissioner of Mangalore time and again. The office of the Police Commissioner has written a letter of recommendation for the department, which bears testimony to the efficiency of the department.
The department has hosted national, South India and state-level conferences and our head of the department Dr Mahabalesh Shetty has served as president of both Karnataka medico-legal society as well as South Indian Medicolegal Association.
The Department conducts regular CME and workshops and in association with AB Shetty Medical Institute of Dental Sciences has started a Forensic Odontology department. The Department has a state of the art museum which is one of the departments biggest strengths. Our department conducts and regularly participate in interdepartmental activities and emphasises on honesty and strives for excellence.