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Dr. J. A. Dabhi
Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
S.B.K.S.M.I. & R.C.
Prof. Salmond defined law as
“ The body of principles recognized and applied by
the State in the administration of justice”.
Law consists of rules recognized and acted on by
the courts of justice.
Law is the means where as justice is the end
Law is an instrument of social progress.
It is a “social engineering” to make a balance
between individual wants and social interest.
Oxford Dictionary defines law as
“The body of rules, whether proceeding from formal
Act or from custom, which a particular State or
community recognizes as binding upon its
Which is the highest law in India?
The highest law in India is the Constitution of India.
No other law is above it.
If any law has a provision against the Constitution, it is
wrong and not binding .
KINDS OF LAW
1. SUBSTANTIVE LAW
Defines the offences like theft, robbery,
dacoity, hurt, murder etc.
Mostly contained in :
Indian Penal Code,1860 and other special
Acts like the Railways Act,Prevention of
Corruption Act etc.
2. PROCEDURAL LAW
Lays down the procedure as to
(i) how an offender shall be arrested and by
(ii) how an investigation will be made
(iii) how the bail will be allowed
(iv) what are the various courts and how they
shall try an offender
(v) codified in the Criminal Procedure Code,1973
and Code of Civil Procedure,1976
3. EVIDENTIARY LAW
- Speaks of the relevant
evidence which may be given in
court to prove any particular
- Contained in the Indian
Indian Penal Code भारतीय दणड
is a document that describes the offenses
and prescribes the punishments.
Contains total of 511 IPCs.
It is a piece of British colonial legislation
dating from 1860. Now it provides a
penal code for all of India.
The code applies to any offence
committed by an Indian Citizen anywhere
and on any Indian registered ship or
The Indian Penal Code came into force in
1862 (during the British Raj) and is
Extends to whole of India except the state of J&K.
Every person shall be liable to punishment under this
Code and not otherwise for every act or omission
contrary to the provisions thereof, of which he shall be
guilty within India
Even a foreigner who enters the Indian territory also
submits himself to the operation of Indian laws and he
cannot be allowed to plead in defense that he did not
know that he was doing wrong, as the act was not an
offence in his own country.
No civil proceedings in which the relief is claimed
against the President or the Governor shall be
instituted during his term of office in any court in
respect of any act or purporting to be done by him
in his personal capacity.
Ambassadors and certain members of diplomatic
staff also enjoy immunity from the jurisdiction of
the courts of the country.
According to provisions of Art.361 of the Constitution
High dignitaries of the State i.e the President of
India and the Governors of the States.
Not answerable to any court for the exercise and
performance and duties of his office or for any act
done or purporting to be done by him in the
exercise and performance of those powers
No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be
instituted in any court during the term of his office.
No process for arrest or imprisonment shall be
issued from any court during the terms of his
Injury - IPC 44
Any harm whatever illegally caused to any
person, in body, mind, reputation or property.
•Hurt - IPC 319
Whoever causes bodily pain, disease or
infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt.
Grievous Hurt - 320 IPC
•Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
•Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear.
•Privation of any member or joint
•Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any
member or joint.
•Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
•Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
•Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the
sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe
bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary
Responsibility of mentally ill & drunk
•Criminal responsibility of a mentally ill person.
Act of a person incapable of judgment by reason of
intoxication caused against his will
Act not intended to cause death, done by consent in
good faith for person's benefit
Act done in good faith for benefit of child or
insane person, by or by consent of guardian
Validity of Consent known to be given under fear
or misconception & child below 12years
Act done in good faith for benefit of a person
Issuing or signing false certificate
Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or
giving false information to screen offender
Specially in case of poisoning
what is the maximum punishment for
causing death of a patient due to
Causing death by negligenceWhoever causes the
death of any person by doing any rash or negligent
act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extend to two years, or with
fine, or with both.
Causing miscarriageWhoever voluntarily causes a woman
with child to miscarry, shall, if such miscarriage be not
caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the
woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or
with both; and, if the woman be quick with child, shall he
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to
Causing miscarriage without woman's consentWhoever
commits the offence defined in the last preceding section
without the consent of the woman, whether the woman is
quick with child or not, shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Death caused by act done with intent to cause
miscarriageWhoever, with intent to cause the miscarriage of
a woman with child, does any act which causes the death of
such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term may extend to ten years, and shall als
Act done with intent to prevent child being born
alive or to cause it to die after birth ten years .
Causing death of quick unborn child by act
amounting to culpable homicide ten years
Exposure and abandonment of child under twelve
years, by parent or person having care of it seven
Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead
body two years
IPC 375 Rape
A man is said to commit rape who has sexual
intercourse with a woman
-against her will.
-without her consent.
-with her consent; fear of death/hurt.
-with her consent; fraud.
-with her consent;unsoundness of mind.
-with/without her consent;under 16 years.
•IPC 376 Punishment for rape
7 years imprisonment, fine.
Unnatural offencesWhoever voluntarily has carnal
intercourse against the order of nature with any
man, woman or animal, shall be punished with
152[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment
of either description for a term which may extend
to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
82.Act of a child under seven years of age –
Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven
years of age.
83.Act of a child above seven and under twelve of
immature understanding –
•Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above
seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained
sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature
and consequences of his conduct on that occasion
Abetment of suicideIf any person commits suicide,
whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall
be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend to ten
years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Criminal Procedure Code
It provides the mechanism for the punishment of the offences
against the substantive criminal law.
It formulates police duties in arresting offenders,
- dealing with absconders,
- In producing the documents
- in investigating offences
- deals with actual procedures in trials, appeals,
- references, revisions and transfer of criminal
It is the inquiry or investigation into the cause of death
Held by: 1. Police Personnel not below the rank of
Types: Police Inquest
Medical Examiner’s System
What is the sequence that is followed if a person dies due
to some unnatural cause of death or when the cause of
death is not determined prima facie ?
Inform the police regarding the event.
Police arrives at the scene of crime / event.
Prepares the inquest regarding the corpse.
Takes it to the hospital
Medical officer certifies it as dead
MO recommends for the postmortem of the body
Police brings the body to the concerned Dr. for conducting
Dr. does the PM and hand the body to the police
Police hand over the body to the relative
Is it legal to bury/cremate a person directly without
informing the police when the cause of death by the
or if known the cause is of unnatural type
What are the responsibilities of the relatives and the police
personnel if such kind of incidence happens?
Ideally the relatives informs regarding the death of the
person to the police if they suspect any foul play or is the
matter of insurance.
If police is not informed by the relative, then police if is
knowing regarding the fact, and if he suspects any foul play
of unnatural death then they can proceed for the PM for
exact cause of death.
If either of the party- relative / police does not take the
necessary steps when any unnatural cause of death is
suspected knowingly then they might be claimed for hiding
the probable cause of the incident
Police can take the body under their custody if they feel
any foul play regarding the death of any person.
Same authorities are also applicable to the Magistrates
And for this proceeding relatives can not resist in
executing the duties of the police/ magistrate.
What does Coroner mean?
A coroner or forensics examiner is an official
chiefly responsible for investigating deaths,
particularly some of those happening under
unusual circumstances, and determining the
They have a degree in a medical or legal field, eg.
criminology, bio-medical sciences. Generally, coroners
have had a previous career as a lawyer
(solicitor/barrister) or doctor of at least five years
In India such kind of post had been abolished since 1999
Coroner’s Inquest was held only in Mumbai previously.
A medical examiner (often referred to by the initials
"M.E.") is a physician, and a specialist in pathology or
Duties always include determining the cause, time, and
manner of death.
He also can conduct the inquest
But a Medical Examiner is always a Doctor while a
Coroner is not necessary that he must be a doctor.
Who conducts the inquest?
POLICE OFFIDER INCHARGE
Who is called the Investigating Officer?
First step for conducting the Inquest is to inform the
magistrate regarding the incident.
Conducts the inquest in presence of two respectable
persons known as Panchs.
Prepares the report of the apparent cause of death as
judged from the appearance and surroundings of the body
Reports includes total description of the body.
Inquest report is signed by police and panchs/witnesses.
If no foul play is suspected, body is handed over to the
If foul play is suspected, body is sent for post mortem
examination to the nearest authoritied govt. doctor together
with requisition and copy of inquest
This report is then forwarded to the Magistrate.
1. District Magistrate
2. Sub-divisional Magistrate
3. Executive Magistrate
Conducted In Case Of
1. Death in prison
2. Death in police custody
3. Death due to police firing
4. Dowry death
Dowry Death: When death of a female occurs within
marriage duration less than 7 years or age of female is less
than 30 years is called Dowry Death.
Legal Sentences/penal Powers of Courts
Death/ Capital Punishment
Civil Court Criminal Court
District judge -do
District and sessions judge Metropolitan Magistrate
Sub-judge family court Class I Magistrate
Class II Magistrate
CLASSES OF MAGISTRATES
S U B O R D IN A T E E X E C U T IV E M A G IS T R A T E
S U B D IV IS IO N A L M A G IS T R A T E
A D D L . D IS T R IC T M A G IS T R A T E
D IS T R IC T M A G IS T R A T E
E X E C U T IV E
M A G IS T R A T E O F S E C O N D C L A S S
A D D L C J M /M A G IS T R A T E O F F IR S T C L A S S
C H IE F J U D IC IA L M A G IS T R A T E
J U D IC IA L M A G IS T R A T E
M A G IS T R A T E
Name of the Court Punishment
i)Supreme Court Any punishment
ii)High Court Any punishment
iii)Sessions& District Judge Death sentence, life imprisonment(to
be ratified by HC) and fine
iv)Additional session Judge Death sentence, life imprisonment(to
be ratified by HC) and fine
v)Assistant Session Judge Ten years imprisonment and fine
vi)Chief Judicial Magistrate Seven years imprisonment and fine
vii)Additional Chief Judicial
Seven years imprisonment and fine
viii)Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seven years imprisonment and fine
of any amount
ix)Addl Chief Metropolitan
Seven years imprisonment and fine
x)Judicial Magistrate First class Three years imprisonment and fine
xi)Metropolitan Magistrate Three years imprisonment and fine
xii)Judicial Magistrate second class One year imprisonment and fine
President have the power to give
amnesty to all the crimes
DIt is the document compelling the attendance of the
witness in the Court of law under penalty, on a
particular day, time and place, for the purpose of giving
While going to the court to attend the summons, a
doctor may require to bring the necessary documents,
books, or other things under his control as he is bound
by the law to bring such things for the purpose of
It is issued by the Court in writing, in duplicate (two
copies) signed by the presiding officer of the Court and
bears the seal of the Court.
This summons in two copies is handed over to the
police officer by the Court. The police officer thereby
serves one copy of the summon to the witness and on
other copy he takes the sign of the person for which
the summons has been issued.
If the witness is having the valid reason then he is
excused from attending the summons in the Court.
Ideally the witness is excused maximum of two times
from attending the summons if he is having valid
Repeated failure to attending the summons more than
two time may without proper justifiable reason may
attempt the Court to issue bailable or nonbailable
warrants to secure the presence of the witness.
Or in civil case, the witness is liable to pay the
damages. In case of criminal cases, the Court may
issue the notice and after hearing the witness, if it finds
that the witness neglected to attended the Court
without any justification, may sentence him to a fine or
the Court may issue bailable of nonbailable wrrants to
secure the presence of the witness.
Criminal Courts are having priorities over Civil Courts.
If the witness is summoned by the two courts on the
same day then in that case Criminal Courts are given
priorities over Civil Courts.
Similarly, higher Courts are having priorities over
lower Courts. But in all these circumstances the
witness should inform to the Court in which he is not
What if the summons is receive from two Courts of the
then he should attend the Court from where he
received the summons first.
thereby informing the other Court about it.
Thereafter if he is relieve early and is having time to
attend the other Court then he can attend the other
What if the person in the name of which the
summons had been issued is not available due to
eg. In case of death, or he had started living
outside India or any far off places at which the
summons can’t be issued by the police officer.
Then in that case Court may order other person
who knows the fact or who can give the
Descriptions of the details mentioned in the summons
Name of the Court and its address
Eg: Fast Track Court, Sessions Court, Civil Court,
District Court, etc.
Name of the Judge under which the case is being
Name of the person for whom the summons is issued.
Name of the police station under which the
investigation is going on.
Case Number eg: Sessions case No.37/09
Name of the accused who had committed the crime
Description of the I.P.C. that had been charged on the
accused. Eg: I.P.C. 302 – which is related to murder
I.P.C. 376 – related to rape.
It is the fee offered or paid to a witness in the civil cases,
at the time of serving the summons to meet the
expenses towards attending the Court.
In criminal cases, no fee is paid to the witness at the time of
serving the summons.
He must attend the Court and give the evidence because of the
interest of the state in securing the justice, otherwise he will be
charged with contempt of Court.
A woman sentenced to a year in prison for perjury has given herself up
to a court in Mumbai
Means giving willful false evidence by a witness
while under oath, or failure to tell what he
knows or believes to be the true.
The witness is likely to be prosecuted for perjury,
and the imprisonment may extend to seven
years of imprisonment.
What are leading questions?
Is the one which suggests to the witness the
answer desired, or which includes a material
facts, and admits of a conclusive answer by
simple “yes” or “No”.