Dr. Virendra Kumar mbbs, md (India) Professor and Head



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  • Dr. Virendra Kumar
  • MBBS, MD (India)
  • Professor and Head
  • Department of Forensic Medicine
  • Aarupadai Veedu Medical College
  • Pondicherry, INDIA

Introduction

  • Introduction
  • Various Reasons of Unnatural (homicidal and Suicidal) Death of Women
  • Dowry – What is
  • Dowry related Crimes
  • Dowry Death
  • Abetment of Suicide
  • Cruelty by Husband or Relatives of Husband
  • Methods for Homicide and Suicide in Women
  • Bride Burning – What, Why
  • Sati System
  • Incidences
  • Material and Methods
  • Advantage & Disadvantages of Methodology
  • Challenges in Data Collection
  • Other sources of Data Collection
  • Recommendations
  • Effective Surveillance System
  • Haddon’s Matrix
  • Other General Measures
  • Inference of Study
  • Summary
  • Photographs
  • Annexure – I (Performa of Research)
  • Introduction
  • Various Reasons of Unnatural (Suicidal and Homicidal) Deaths of Women :
  • Dowry
  • Marital Infidelity
  • Sexual Jealousy
  • Impotency
  • Oedipal Dominance of mother in law over the
  • bridegroom
  • Contd/-
  • Husband may be Intoxicated, Epileptic, Insane
  • Deluded or Depressed
  • Wife may be Intoxicated, Epileptic, Insane or
  • suffering from any Chronic Incurable diseases
  • Poverty
  • Loneliness
  • Quarrel with mother in law or husband
  • Failure in the exams
  • Frustration in Love
  • Unemployment etc
  • DOWRY
  • Dowry means the money, goods or estate
  • that a woman brings to her husband in marriage
  • Dowry is a continuing demand. It is not one isolated payment made initially at the time of marriage alone, but a series of gifts before and after marriage till the in-laws and the husband are appeased.
  • This custom of dowry has been in vogue since very ancient times
  • Contd/-
  • As per the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Dowry is
  • Any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly—
  • By one party to a marriage to the other party to the
  • marriage; or
  • 2. By parents of either party to a marriage or by any
  • other person to either party to the marriage or to any
  • other person, at or before or after the marriage
  • Contd/-
  • Dowry Death
  • Indian law states that any suspicious death of a married woman within seven years of her marriage is considered to be a case of dowry death unless proved otherwise by the defendants
  • It is a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
  • Contd/-
  • Dowry Related Crimes
  • Dowry Deaths has been defined in under Sec. 304 B of IPC as
  • When the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassments by her husband or by any relative of her husband for, or in connection with the any demand for dowry, such deaths shall be called 'dowry death’ and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.
  • 2. Whoever commits dowry deaths shall be punished by imprisonment for no less than seven years, but which may extend to life imprisonment.
  • Abetment of Suicide
  • (l) (Sec. 306) -In Indian Penal Code has been dealt
  • as :
  • 'If 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’.
  • Contd/-
  • (2) Sec. 113 A of Indian Evidence Act deals with the pre­sumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman as:
  • "When the question is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had Committed suicide within a period of seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or such relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty, the Court may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband.”
  • Cruelty by Husband or Relatives of Husband: (Sec. 498 A IPC)
  • "Whoever being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. 
  • Cruelty means
  • a) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (Whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
  • b) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valu­able security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
  • Methods used for Homicide or Suicide in Women
  • Burning --- bride burning
  • Poisoning
  • Hanging
  • Strangulation
  • Head Injuries
  • Miscellaneous
  • Bride Burning
  • No specific definition of bride burning
  • May be suicidal or homicidal
  • Why Bride Burning?
  • Sati System
  • The belief that a sati had great supernatural powers, motivated others to ensure that she burnt herself for their benefit. It was thought that a woman on her way to the pyre was capable of bestowing eternal bliss on anyone she cared to look upon; that she could descend to hell and force the powers of the pit to yield her ancestors, relatives and friends and bring them to salvation.
  • Contd/-
  • Various reasons for sati has been suggested-
  • The belief prevailed that a man's possessions
  • could be sent with him for use in the next
  • world, if they were burned or buried with him;
  • his wife was his chief possession and his
  • source of pleasure and had to be dispatched to
  • serve him in his next life
  • Another reason could be the male jealousy at
  • the thought of leaving his beautiful wife behind
  • him
  • Contd/-
  • The Greeks surmised that the real reason for
  • Sati was to prevent a wife from poisoning her
  • husband: the fact that she would have to die
  • with him would inhibit any such intentions.
  • That the widow might misbehave and bring
  • disgrace to the family was yet another theory
  • to support sati.
  • Contd/-
  • Relatives did not wish to be burdened with
  • the responsibility of supporting a widow;
  • they coveted her wealth and wanted her
  • out of the way; the son was relieved of the
  • necessity of maintaining his mother; the
  • male relatives took possession of the
  • estate that the widow would otherwise
  • have held for life
  • Contd/-
  • THE COMMISSION OF SATI (PREVENTION) ACT, 1987
  • “Sati" means the burning or burying alive of –
  •  
  • (a) Any widow along with the body of her deceased husband or any other relative or with any article, object or thing associated with the husband or such relative;
  • INCIDENCES
  • Difficult to determine accurate numbers
  • By extrapolating our data(1989) suggests 600–750
  • homicidal deaths per year.
  • NCRB of India has reported 7618 dowry death cases
  • in 2006
  • Rugene and Basu (2002) reported about 15,000
  • homicidal death in women over dowry in India every
  • year.
  • Sharma BR et al in 2002 reports that an estimated
  • 25,000 brides are killed or maimed worldwide every
  • year over dowry disputes
  • Material
  • and
  • Methods
  • Material
  • 152 fatal cases of Burnt married female during the period from 13-6-1987 to 3-2-1989 taken randomly from a total of 27O married female burn deaths autopsied during this period.
  • This total of 152 cases autopsied were studied to find out the history of the cases, their epidemiological features, the nature of burn injuries and their medico legal aspects.
  • This work was confined to the cases of flame burns only
  • Methods
  • I Data Collection
  • II Epidemiological Features
  • III Nature of Injury
  • IV Medico legal Aspects
  • V Exclusion and Inclusion Methods
  • I. Data Collection
  • A Interviewing
  • a) The husbands and in laws
  • b) The parents
  • c) The neighbours and friends
  • accompanying the dead body
  • d) Police constables accompanying the
  • cases.
  • B The police inquest reports and other Police
  • papers sent with the dead bodies
  • C First information reports.
  • D Autopsy examination proper.
  • These methods were used to collect the different data pertaining to the cases.
  • Epidemiological Features
  • A The Host or the burn victims, such as
  • a) Age
  • b) Educational background
  • c) Occupational status
  • d) Socio-economic status
  • e) Religion
  • f) Personal history –
  • whether -Intoxicated
  • -Epileptic
  • -Insane
  • -deluded -depressed etc.
  • g) Marriage history such as
  • i. Type of marriage – love or arranged marriage
  • ii. Date month and year of marriage
  • iii. Age at marriage
  • iv. Date of starting of conjugal life
  • h) Family history --
  • i. Whether joint or nuclear family
  • ii. Number of children
  • iii. Number of persons in the family
  • B The Agent or the source of fire
  • a) Match stick
  • b) Wood cooking stove
  • c) Kerosene lamp or stoves
  • d) Gas cooking stoves
  • e) Coal cooking stoves etc.
  • C The Circumstantial Data (Environment)
  • a) Place of occurrence –
  • Closed space ---kitchen, living room, kitchen cum
  • living room, store room
  • Open space -----Verandah, roof, portico, field etc
  • b) Season, month and time of the incidents
  • c) Rescue measures -
  • Whether attempted or not, If yes, then by whom
  • d) Place of death -
  • i. On the spot
  • ii. in the way to hospital
  • iii. in the hospital
  • iv. After discharge from hospital – at house or any
  • other place
  • III. Nature of Injury
  • A Burn Injuries
  • a) size of the burnt area
  • b) site of body injured
  • c) whether ante mortem or postmortem burn
  • d) fatal period
  • e) External Postmortem finding ---
  • Kerosene oil smell
  • Singeing of hairs
  • Sooty blackening
  • Pugilistic attitudes
  • Heat fractures etc...
  • f) Internal changes at autopsy
    • i the presence of soot in the respiratory tract, or GIT
    • ii generalized congestion
    • iii pallor of the viscera
    • iv Curling's ulcers
    • V state of uterus etc.
  • B Other Associated Injuries
  • IV. Medico legal Aspects
  • A Nature - Homicidal, suicidal or accidental.
  • B Motives in suicidal and homicidal cases.
  • C Information to parents.
  • D Information to police - by husband, in laws,
  • parents or neighbours etc
  • V. Exclusion method - for evaluation of the nature of deaths especially in homicidal cases
  • Inclusion method – Positive approaches
    • conflicting statements by in-laws
    • their movement and attitudes,
    • presence of other associated injuries,
    • dying declarations etc.
  • Advantages of the Methodology
  • First hand information at autopsy
  • Relatives, parents or neighbors usually
  • accompany the dead body who can be interviewed
  • Police also provide certain information
  • The attitudes, behavior and sometimes the body language of in laws also become helpful in the determination of nature and manner of death
  • Autopsy examination itself also gives certain clues for the nature of such deaths.
  •  
  • Disadvantages of Methodology
  • In-laws always try to conceal the facts and level the
  • homicide one to as suicide or accidental one
  • Parents sometimes are not available during autopsy
  • At times parents also do not tell the truth just to avoid
  • any legal implications
  • Police is also sometimes bribed by In laws to make the story as an accident
  • Sometimes even at autopsy also, it becomes difficult
  • to know the nature of death
  •  
  •  
  • Challenges in Data Collection
  • Uncooperative behaviour of Husband and In-Laws
  • They always try to conceal the facts and level the
  • homicide as suicide or accident
  • They try to bring the wrong parents
  • They are in hurry to finish the autopsy and dispose the
  • body
  • Sometimes, they are not available as they abscond or
  • they are in custody of police
  • They also pretend of rescuing the victim by burning
  • their hands.
  • Contd/-
  • 2. Parents
  • Not available during autopsy as not been informed
  • Wrong parents
  • Parents also do not tell the truth just to avoid any
  • legal implications
  • Unable to share the fact due to mental trauma
  • 3. Police
  • Bribed by in-laws to make the incident as an accident
  • 4. Neighbour
  • Not available in many cases
  • If available, do not want to give any statements due to
  • legal implications
  • 5. Autopsy
  • Even at autopsy also, it becomes sometimes difficult
  • to know the nature of death
  • Other Sources of data collection
  • (Not used in author’s study)
  • Accident & Emergency
  • Police records
  • NGOs
  • Local Panchayats or Mothers group
  • Community based studies
  •  
  • Recommendations
  • Prevention and Control of Dowry Death
  •  
  • Effective Surveillance system in married women deaths
  • A Reliable estimates of dowry deaths by collection and collation of all the data from various sources as mentioned above at the regional and national level
  • B Design of tools for distinguishing between accidents, suicides, and homicides
  • C One central agency should be given responsibility for all this surveillance work e.g., National Commission For Women in India,  
  • Similar organization in other countries can also be appointed who can make quarterly reports on the subject. This Report should highlight
    • Magnitude of problem
    • Geographical distribution
    • Ethnic/caste/religion distribution
    • Age/education/occupation
    • Manner of deaths
    • Cost- direct and indirect of mortality and
    • morbidity
    • Contd/-
  • This report can be utilized for advocacy at state, regional and national levels. The targets for advocacy in this matter should include the policy makers including politicians and bureaucrats. India has a large influence of cinema actors that can become channels of change for the public so they should also be the target of advocacy activities.
  •  

Useful tool for conceptualizing etiological factors

  • Useful tool for conceptualizing etiological factors
  • and identifying prevention strategies. Within this
  • framework, the host (woman), the agent (fire
  • source) and the environment (social and physical)
  • are analyzed in each of the three event phases:
  • Pre-Event
  • Event
  • Post-Event, as targets of change
  • Contd/-
  • Other General Measures
  • Increasing education for women for economic
  • and emotional independence
  • Proper implementation of existing laws along with
  • new, stricter legislation to abolish dowry related
  • crimes
  • Establishment of voluntary associations to decrease
  • the importance of dowries in general.
  • Inference
  • of
  • Study
  • Married female burn constituted 82.31% of total burn deaths including males, autopsied during 13th June 1987 to 3rd Feb., 1989
  • Out of the total 152 cases studied 70(46.05%) were accidental 47(30.92%) homicidal and 32(21.05%) were suicidal in nature.
  • Most of married female burn deaths 136(85.47%) occurred within 35 yrs. of their age.
  • Homicide by burning of married women -(48.93%) were done at an earlier age(16-20 years), While suicidal and accidental-(40.62%) and (27.14%) respectively burning occurred at a little older age from 21-25 years.
  • Incidences of burnt married female were mostly in Hindu religion - 141(92.76%) followed by the Muslims - 10(6.57%) and Christian - 1(0.65%).
  • Most of the Cases - 111(73.02%) came from
  • rural areas ­than the city locality - 33(21.71%)
  • and 8(5.26%) belonged to sub urban
  • community.
  • Over the majority of the incidents - 37(90.13%)
  • of married female burning were either in low or
  • lower middle socio-economic class.
  • Almost all the burnt victims - 146(96.05%)
  • were either illiterate 81(53.28%) or poorly
  • literate that is educated only up to High
  • School standard­ 65(41.76%) .
  • In the majority of the cases - 105(69.05%);
  • victim’s husband was either illiterate –
  • 28(18.42%) or educated up to High School
  • level only ­77(50.65%) cases.
  • Almost all the victims were housewives - 147(96.71%) by their occupation
  • Victims’ husband were either in business - 33(21.71%) or in service - 30(19.73%) or in agricultural work­ 22(14.47%).
  • Majority of the victims - 116(76.31%) came from joint family as compared to nuclear family - 36(23.68%).
  • In a majority of cases ­78(51.71%), the family of the victims comprised of 6-10 members.
  • In majority of cases -126(82.89%), victims age at marriage were below 20 yrs.
  • Most of the homicidal (91.48%) and accidental (42%) burns were seen when the marriage took place, while the age of the victim was between 11,to 20 years;
  • Suicidal cases were most frequently found (75%) when the victims were married between 16-25 years of their age.
  • Most of the victims had arranged marriages - 141(92.76%) as compared to love marriages - 11(7.23%) cases.
  • Almost half of the incidents occurred within 5 yrs. of their marriage - 74(48.68%).
  • Most of the burnt wife victims died either issueless­ 74(48.68%) or after having one - 26(17.10%) or two­ 21(13.81%) children. More than half of the homicidal (53.19%) and suicidal - (53.12%) victims died before they had any issue.
  • During pregnancy suicidal - 5(15.62%) and
  • accidental - 9(12.85%) burns were more
  • frequent than the homicidal - 2(4.25%)
  • burning.
  • Burnings were more frequent in the evening
  • hours­ 49(32.23%) or in the morning hours -
  • 45(29.60%) followed by mid-day –
  • 37(23.34%) and night hours­ 21(13.8%).
  • Largest number of victims - 69(45.39%), sustained burn injuries in the kitchen followed by in the living rooms - 27(17.76%) and kitchen cum living room - 22(14.47%) while and 26(17.10%) victims received burns in an open space.
  • Most of accidental burns were due to either wood cooking stove (40%) or by the use of kerosene stoves - (34.28%); whereas amongst suicidal (40.62%) and homicidal (42.55%) victims match stick was commonly used.
  • Over the majority of homicidal-(57.44%) and accidental-(68.57%) burns were first noticed by the in-laws or husband of the victim while suicidal burns were generally first noticed by the neighbors­(40.62%).
  • The large number of victims 127(83.55%) got some kind of rescue either by in-laws - 48(31.57%) or husband - 42 (27.63%) or by neighbors- 30(19.73%) .
  • Most frequently victims alone sustained burn injuries -122(80.26%) while husband in-14(9.21%), in-laws ­in - 12 (7.89%) and neighbors in--2 (1.31%) cases sustained burn injuries along with the victims primarily during rescuing.
  • In the maximum number of cases - 50(32.89%) none was present at the place of incidents- whereas one person in 30(19.73%), two in 19(12.5%) and more than 5 person in 14(9.21%) of cases were present at the spot during the incident.
  • Reportedly parents were informed in l27(80.89%) cases of married female burning while in rest cases 25 (16.44'%) parents were not informed till autopsies were done.
  • In a majority of the cases - 91(59.86%), medical officer was the first person to inform about the incidents to Police followed by neighbors in-23(6.57%) in-laws in 14(9.21%) husband in 11(7.23%) and parents in 10(6.57%) of cases.
  • Over a majority of the victims - 120(78.97%),.died in a hospital while - 26(17.10%) died at the spot and 4(2.63%) died on the way to hospital.
  • In the majority, amongst the hospitalized cases ­66(54.97%), treatment were started between 1-6 hrs. after the incident and in - 31(25.40%) victims treatment were started earlier within 1 hour. In­ 22(18.03%) victims, treatment were started after 6-12 of incident and in - 3(2.45%) cases it was delayed beyond 1 day.
  • Most frequently - 84(72.13%) burnt wife victims were hospitalized in the District Hospital followed - 14(11.47%) in Medical College Hospital and ­13(10.63%) were treated at Primary Health Centers amongst hospitalized cases.
  • Largest number of hospitalized victims -44(36.06%) died within 12 hrs. of their hospitalization and still another - 17(13.93%} cases expired within next 12 hrs. As many as 39(31.96%) victims could receive treatment for 1-10 days before their death and 22(18.03%) victims had treatment for more than 10 days but could not saved.
  • Most commonly - 72(47.36%), victims
  • were dressed in synthetic Sari, followed by
  • 46(30.26%) in cotton and - 29(19.07%)
  • were putting on semi synthetic sari.
  • Kerosene smell could be detected in
  • 41(26.9%) of victims.
  • Frequently homicidal - (34.04%) and suicidal (25%) victims died instantaneously or died within 24 hrs. -(40 42%) and (46.87%) respectively; whereas majority of the accidental victims survived for more than one day - (67.14%)
  • All suicidal - (100%) and homicidal - (95.74%) cases have more than (50%) burns, while many accidental - (28.57%) were having less than 50% of burn.
  • 100% burns were more frequent in homicidal ­ (44.68%) than suicidal (31.25%) or accidental (4.28%) cases.
  • In - 6(3.94%) victims (homicidal 4, and suicidal 2) both ante mortem and postmortem burns were found and other associated injuries along with burns were seen in - 10(17.10%) cases which were all homicidal.
  • Carbon soot in respiratory tract was detected in 26(17.10%) cases, generalized congestion of viscera in 112(73.68%) and generalized pallor in 39(25.64%) cases were found.
  • Singeing of hairs in 102(67 .10%), sooty blackening in 86(56.57%), Pugilistic attitude in 24(15.78%}, heat rapture in 23(15.15%) and heat fracture in 2(1.31%) cases were ascertained
  • Most frequently in - 100(65.98%) cases the cause of death was shock while 47(30.92%) victims died of septicaemia. In 4 cases there was head injury contributing to the burn shock.
  • Summary
  • This problem is frequent in low or lower middle class. Many of the victims are in the early periods of marriage with extensive burns. Moreover, newly married females are also much more vulnerable to accidental burn as they, in their new place at in-laws house, fail to acclimatize with all sorts of adversities. Though only few cases of literate women succumbed to this injury in authors study, yet literacy has little to do with these injuries as because female literacy itself as whole is low.
  • Even the literate woman fails to acclimatize with the situation and suicide is resulted. Many of the women die issue less or after having one or two children. Apart from this, dowry problem which results in bride burning is increasing day by day in spite of legislation. Usually the dowry problem exists in joint families and arranged marriages, where the burning of married females are seen mostly.
  • ANNEXURE - I
  • PROFORMA OF
  • RESEARCH
  • A STUDY OF BURNT MARRIED FEMALES IN MEDICOLEGAL AUTOPSIES
  • 1. Age: Year Months Days
  • 2. Victims Religion: Caste: Culture:
  • 3. Husband's Religions Caste: Culture:
  • 4. Education of Victim: Illiterate / Primary / Jr.High School / High-School /
  • Intermediate / Graduate / Postgraduate / Professional Degree
  • /Any other ......
  • 5. Education of Husband: Illiterate / Primary /Jr.High School / High-School /
  • Intermediate / Graduate / Post graduate / Professional
  • Degree /Any other ......
  • 6. Victim's Occupation: House-wife / Office worker / Nurse /Student / Medical / Legal
  • /Any other .....
  • 7. Husband's Occupation: Student / Un-employed / Service / Business / Agriculture /
  • Medical / Legal / Technical/ Skilled Labour / Unskilled
  • labour / Petty Trader /Any other.
  • 8. Family Occupation of In-laws: Service / Business /Agriculture / Petty Trader/Skilled
  • labour/Unskilled labour/ Medical/Legal/Any other ........
  • 9. Community character of In-laws: Rural / Urban / Rurban.
  • 10. Community character of Parent's: Rural / Urban / Rurban.
  • 11. Income: i) Victim’s Income: (If self employed)
  • ii) Husband’s Income:
  • iii) Family Income:
  • 12. Socio-economic Status: Very low / Low / Lower middle / Higher middle / High
  • / Very high
  • 13. Brief History of Incident:
    • By Inlaws:
    • By Parents:
    • By Neighbours:
    • By Police / Panchanama
  • MARITAL HISTORY
  • 14. When did she get married:
  • 15. Whether was she re-married - Yes / No
  • If yes, the position of the previous husbands -
  • 16. Age of the:
      • Victim at the time of marriage
      • Husband at the time of marriage
  • 17. Husband's marriage - First / Second / Third ........
  • What happened to previous wives,
  • Give Briefly -
  • 18. Whether - Arranged marriage / Love marriage
  • 19. After marriage, whether living together or not -
    • If together since how long
    • If separate, since how long
    • Frequency of visit if living separate
  • 20. Marital Life - Happy / Un-happy
  • 21. If Unhappy, Why?
    • i. If there is any sexual dissatisfaction –
      • a) Whether she is sterile - Yes/No
      • b) Whether she is frigid / impotent - Yes/No
      • c) Marital infidelity of victim - Yes/No
      • d) Marital infidelity of Husband - Yes/No
    • ii. Oedioal dominance of mother-inlaw over the groom - Yes/No
    • iii. Whether the husband is intoxicated/epileptic/ Insane / deluded/depressed
    • /any other .......
    • iv. Whether she is intoxicated / epileptic/Insane / deluded /depressed /
    • any other .......
    • v. Whether Unhappy because of poverty; Yes/No
  • 22. Was there any relationship with the Dowry in the marriage - Yes/No
  • If Yes --- i) Whether in kinds/Money/both
  • ii) Was anything left to be fulfilled on the demand of Inlaws -Yes/No
  • iii) Whether the dowry was enforced/willingly given.
  • iv) Was such dowry instances in the family - Yes/No
  • v) Was any marriage in the family without dowry system - Yes/No
  • vi) Was ever any death in the family in relation to Dowry - Yes/No
  • FAMILY HISTORY:
  • 23. Family: Nuclear family/Joint family/Three generation family
  • 24. Size of the family
      • Major members;
      • Minor members:
  • 25. Whether there is any issue - Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Number of male child;
  • ii) Number of female child
  • iii) Number of dead child
  • 26. Whether the children are getting proper development- Yes/No
  • 27.
  • Children Sex Age Education
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 28. Was ever any suspicious death of women in the family- Yes/No
  • If Yes - then what was the
  • i) Nature-
  • ii) Mode-
  • iii)Manner-
  • iv) Cause -
  • CIRCUMSTANTIAL HISTORY;
  • 29. Date and time of Incident:
  • 30. Place of Burn.:
  • Closed spaces----- Kitchen / bath room / living room / Varandah / corridor
  • /any other specify —
  • Open space ----- Varandah /roof / field /any other- specify ------
  • 31. If Closed space –
  • i) Whether there was any door / window present - Yes/No
  • ii) If yes, the door could be opened (when locked) - from inside / from outside / imitated to be locked from inside.
  • iii) Whether the doors were open / locked from inside / locked from outside / not locked but shut.
  • iv) If there were windows -
  • their a) Number ------
  • b) Size --------
  • c) Type
  • v) Whether the windows were – open / closed / closed & bolted from inside / window shut
  • 32. Source cf Fire:
  • Match stick / wood cooking / Gas cooking / Kerosine stove or lamp / Petromax light / smoking in bed / Hut caught fire / fire works / sigree
  • for warming the room, body or hairs /explosion /unknown / any other
  • 33. Whether there was evidence of use of any combustible substances- Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Nature - Kerosine oil / petrol /' paraffin oil / any other „ , „
  • ii) Quantity –
  • iii) Where was it lying –
  • 34. Whether any associated person caught fire during the incident - Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Number of such, person -
  • ii) Relation with the victim -
  • iii) Percentage of burn of the person/persons
  • iv) Evidence of struggle by victim to save himself
  • 35. Whether any other article(s) in and around the body caught fire - Yes/No
  • If yes - give details -
  • 36. Whether any person present in the house at the time of incident - Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Number of such person(s)
  • ii) Their relation with the deceased -
  • iii) The distance of the nearest person from the victim at the time of incident –
  • 37. Whether the victims cried and /or screamed - Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Natures
  • ii) Number:
  • iii) Durations
  • 38. Who did first notice the incident –
  • i) Relation with the victims
  • ii) What did he/she notice first - fire/smoke/cry/ any other .....
  • iii) At what state of fire - very high flame/low flame/ no flame/smoke only/any other ..........
  • iv) State of victim – dead / gasping / deep coma / semi conscious / conscious.
  • v) What did he / she do -
  • a) whether he/she tried to extinguish the fire - Yes/No
  • b) whether he/she informed the police- Yes/No
  • c) whether he/she informed the neighbour- Yes/No
  • 39. Whether the victim was rescued - Yes/No
  • If Yes –
  • By whom - Husband/Inlaws/Neighbours/any other people-specify.
  • 40.When was Police informed about the incident –
  • i) Time interval between the incident and information to the Police - Hours Days ii) By whom – Husband / In-laws / Neighbors / Parents /any other- Specify -
  • iii) Mode of information – Verbal / Writing / Telephonic / any other method .........
  • iv) Nature of information - Accidental /suicidal / homicidal
  • v) Whether the Police was delaying or refusing to record F.I.R. by Parents or relatives of victim - ---Yes/No
  • 41. Whether any alteration was made at the scene and in the circumstances of
  • incident prior to arrival of the police----- Yes/No
  • If Yes - i) Nature of alteration:
  • ii) By whom
  • iii) With what intent and motive:
  • 42. Whether the apparels were found at the time of incidents----- Yes/No
  • If Yes -
  • i) Nature – loose / tight / partly loose or tight.
  • ii) Type -- Sari / Dhoti / Petticot / pant / salwar / Kurta / Any other.
  • iii) Material – cotton / synthetic (Terene, terrylene, nylon, silk) / semisynthetic (Terri cot) / any other
  • 43. Was the death suicidal – Yes / No / Doubtful.
  • If suicide - probable.,motive - Quarrel with mother inlaw / quarrel with husband / quarrel with any other / unemployment / poverty / failure in examination / frustration in love / scolding / incurable chronic diseases /loneliness / any other - specify –
  • Did the victim leave any suicide note –
  • If so, what was the contents- give briefly.
  • iii) Letters if any expressing marital unhappiness- -------Yes / No / doubtful.
  • iv) Was any previous threat or Utterances or attempt of suicide- Yes / No
  • 44. Was the death Homicidal? Yes / No / doubtful
  • i) If homicide - the probable motive- dowry / sterility / sexual jealousy / marital infidelity / any other- specify -
  • ii) If any note or letter expressing apprehension of hurt or death –
  • Yes / No / Not known
  • iii) If any attempt of homicide or homicidal attacks previously - Yes / No
  • iv) If In-laws and husband absconded after the incidence- Yes / No
  • v) Whether parents were informed ------- Yes / No
  • If Yes - a) after how long
  • b) when (in relation to the victim's condition)-
  • vi) Whether Police / relatives were having undue haste to complete autopsy- Yes / No
  • vii) If any dying declaration – Yes / No / Not known
  • If Yes - give contents briefly-
  • 45. Was the death accidental - Yes / No / Doubtful
  • i) History of epilepsy / intoxication in the victim – Yes / No / Not known.
  • ii) Circumstances leading to accident (account briefly)
  • 46. If the nature of death is doubtful then what could be the most probable nature –
  • Accident / Suicide / Homicide
  • TREATMENT HISTORY
  • 47. Did the victim receive any treatment - Yes / No
  • If Yes i) first aid alone / hospitalized /any other- specify -
  • ii) place of treatment- private clinic / P.H.C./ District hospital /
  • Medical college hospital / any other
  • iii) If hospitalized----date and time of admission.
  • iv) Time interval between incident and the commencement of the
  • treatment ---Hours ------ Days
  • If prolonged - give reason -
  • v) Duration of treatment-
  • vi) Treatment received- fluids / antibiotics / G.V.paints / skin grafting
  • / any other- specify-
  • vii) Duration of survival of the victim-
  • 48. Place of death – spot / way to hospital / in the hospital / any other place / unknown
  • 49. Date and time of death:
  • POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION;
  • 50. External appearances:
  • i) Whether any clothings present or not,
  • If present, a) original / changed
  • b) whether any tear / blood stain / any other
  • c) whether any smell of kerosene oil –Yes / No
  • d) clothing – intact / burnt / partial burnt
  • ii) Any other article in the body- Extra piece of cloth / Bangles / ring / chain /
  • any other
  • iii) whether any ligature mark on limbs or neck - Yes / No
  • iv) Other ante mortem injuries – abrasion / contusion / laceration / gunshot /
  • stab wound / fracture.
  • v) Age of the other ante mortem injuries --- same age / different age
  • vi) Any evidence of smothering / throttling / hanging / strangulation etc.-Yes / No
  • vii) Heat effects –
  • a) singeing / burning of hairs.
  • b) sooty blackening /charring of body.
  • c) heat rupture
  • d) heat fracture
  • e) body cavity exposed
  • f) pugilistic attitude
  • viii) Site, distribution and extent, degree and depth of burn:
  • Head Face Neck
  • - Ventral
  • - Dorsal
  • - Sides
  • Chest Abdomen R.U.L
  • .- Ventral - Ventral - Shoulder
  • - Dorsal - Dorsal - Flexor
  • - Extensor
  • R.L.L L.U.L L.L.L
  • -Buttock - Shoulder -Buttock
  • - Flexor - Flexor - Flexor
  • -Extensor - Extensor -Extensor
  • Genitalia -
  • Total percentage of burn -
  • Degree of burn - 1st degree 2nd degree 3rd degree
  • ix) Complications - secondary infection / Tetanus / Gas Gangrene /Scarring /
  • contracture / disfigurement of face / loss of vision / any other.
  • x) whether the burns were antemortem or postmortem or both
  • Ante mortem Burn Post mortem burn
  • a) line of redness- Present Absent
  • b) Contents Serous fluid with high Air but no protein
  • proportion of protein and
  • and chloride chloride
  • c) Base - Inflamed with swollen Dry, hard and yellow
  • papillae
  • d) Vital reaction Present Absent
  • e) Soot in the respi Present Absent ratory & g.i. tract
  • f) Gastric erosion & Present Absent curling's ulcer
  • g) CO in blood >5 - 10% < 5 - 10%
  • h) Enzymes The peripheral area of Peripheral zone
  • the heat damage shows does not show and
  • an increase in enzyme increase in enzyme reaction reaction.
  • xi) whether there is any evidence of sexual assault----
  • Give Briefly-------
  • 51.INTERNAL APPEARANCE:
  • i) Exploration of -
  • - Injuries discovered on external exam.
  • - Injuries caused by falling objects.
  • - Tissue and cartilage of neck and hyoid.
  • ii) Skull and Brain-
  • a) Heat fractures of skull bones- present / absent
  • b) Intracranial haemorrhage & injury - present/absent
  • If present, then- type
  • - extra dural
  • - sub-dural
  • - sub-arachnoid
  • - any other.
  • iii) Respiratory tract (Larynx, Trachea & Bronchi) – Normal / congested /
  • contain soot particles /any other changes
  • iv) Lunqs (Left & Right) -- Normal / congested / serous effusion / infection
  • / other changes.
  • v) Stomach -
  • a) contents
  • b) soot particles
  • c) gastric erosions
  • d) poisons
  • vi) Curling's ulcer – present / absent
  • vii) Liver – normal / congested / other changes
  • viii) Spleen – Normal /congested /other changes
  • ix) Kidney (Right & Left) -- Normal /congested /other changes
  • x) Adrenal gland (Right & Left) ---
  • xi) Colour of Blood ------
  • xii) Uterus ----Product of conception
  • 52. CAUSE OF DEATH ----

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