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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-17

Foreign body in injury - an important evidence

Department of Forensic Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur (Pin Code-440 018), Maharashtra State, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashesh Gunwantrao Wankhede
Department of Forensic Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur (Pin Code-440 018), Maharashtra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 11214515

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How to cite this article:
Wankhede AG. Foreign body in injury - an important evidence. Indian J Med Sci 2000;54:14-7

How to cite this URL:
Wankhede AG. Foreign body in injury - an important evidence. Indian J Med Sci [serial online] 2000 [cited 2016 May 26];54:14-7. Available from:

 ¤ Introduction Top

Thorough examination of in­juries present on the body, live or dead, is a vital part of treatment as well as for the administration of justice. Many times minute foreign bodies present in the in­juries are neglected by the treating doctors or officer who is conduct­ing postmortem examination. These small foreign bodies are as impor­tant as a bullet found in a body or a broken piece of weapon found in the injury for the investigation as well as for the administration of justice. The present case is dis­cussed from the point of death up­to judgement of court from the medical point of view.

History given by investigating authority :­

Assault by sharp cutting object over head and neck. Supposed cause of death, homicidal.

Autopsy Findings [1]

On external examination, follow­ing injuries were present,

1) Left upper central and late­ral incisors absent, alveolar mar­gins fractured in that region. Right upper central incisor, left lower lateral incisors and first premolar fractured and dislocated. Blood was oozing from mouth and left ear. Dried blood stains were pre­sent on face and scalp. Vermillion present in midline of scalp hair. Dried mud stains present over dorsum of left hand.

2) Lacerated wounds were pre­sent over glabella, right eyebrow, left ear, inner aspect of right side side of lower tip and left side of upper lip-mucosal surface. Incised wounds were present on region of right angle of mandible, right ante­rior aspect of neck, occiput, front of left forearm, back of right forearm, tip of ninth costal cartilage and left upper outer gluteal quadrant. Contused abrasions were present over right eyelid, right zygoma, left lateral canthus of eye, left zygoma, nose, right side of upper lip, chin, left mastoid, back of wrist, left anterior supe­rior iliac spine, front of left knee and left posterior axillary line in ninth and tenth intercostal space. Chop wounds were present on right side of neck and over head, three centimeters above occiput. Stab wound was present over seventh left costal cartilage, three centimeters from mid line, both angles sharp.

3) Internally, hematoma present under the scalp over occipital re­gion, linear fracture of skull pre­sent from left parietal prominence to left anterior cranial fossa. Outer table was cut corresponding to chop wound over occiput, brain was congested, oedematous, sub­arachnoid haemorrhage present. Seventh costal, cartilage was stab­bed through and through corres­ponding to external stab injury causing internal damage to dia­phragm and ultimately a stab wound to liver. No damage to lung. During thorough examination of all these injuries, a metal fragment of the size of a mustard seed was found in a incised wound present over right angle of mandible. Age of all injuries were recent.

The recovered particle was send to the chemical, analyser for comparison with the suspected weapon. After ten days of autopsy, the investigating officer came with two suspected weapons used for causinng injuries. One weapon was a knife- (local name-Gupti), with both sharp cutting margins and the other, a mango chopper blade, which was a sharp cutting heavy weapon. After examination of weopon, it was advised to com­pare these weapons with the re­covered metal fragment at the time of autopsy.

Story on Investigation :­

In the investigation, following story came out, that, one Chandra­kant, son of Shivdayal Kokas was residing at Nalanda Nagar, Nag­pur at the relevant time along with his wife and children. The accused was residing in a room separately in the same house be­longing to the complaint. The ac­cused used to demand money to the compainant and his wife fre­quently. Before one month of this incident, the accused had de­manded the complaint to pay him Rs. 2000/- but the complaint did not pay him. The complainant and his wife had disclosed about the demands of the accused for money to the relatives. The accused was, therefore, annoyed and on the relevant day, that is, on 13-4-1997 at about 5 p.m., the accused had inflicted the bows of one Gupti over the person of the wife of the complainant, viz., Pramila. The ac­cused had also inflicted the blows of one mango chopper over her person. The complainannt and others had tried to rescue the vic­tim, but in vain. She had sustained a number of bleeding injuries. She was then rushed to the hospital and the doctor had examined her and had declared that she was dead.

Judgement [2]

After investigation, the case pro­ceeded in the court of second additional session judge. After evidences, the Honourable session judge passed a judgement, part of which. related to medical evidence is as follows:

The presence of accused on the spot is not disrupted...

... The prosecution has examin­ed Dr. Ashesh Wankhede, who had performed the Post Mortem examination of the deceased on 14-4-1997. The P.M. report is ad­mitted by the accused. As per the version of witness Dr. Wankhede, there were nearly thirty five inju­ries over the person of the deceas­ed. All these' injuries were ante mortem. As per the opinion of the doctor, the cause of death is shock . and haemorrhage due to injuries to vital organ. One metal piece was found in injury No. 14 which he had handed over to the Police Constable for being sent to the Chemical Analyser. The doctor has further opined that the injuries Nos. 1,' 18 and 31 , with corre­sponding internal injuries are suf­ficient to caused death in the ordi­nary course of nature. According `to him, the rest of the injuries can collectively cause the death. The Post Mortem Report is marked Exh. 24..

The doctor has further deposed that on 24-4-1997 a requisition was sent- to him by Police Station Jari­patka requesting him to examine the weapons and to give his opi­nion. He had received the wea­pons-Articles Nos. 2 and 8. He had .examined Article No. 2 which is a knife and, according to him incis­ed wounds are possible by this weapon. The knife is sharp-cutting and pointed. The doctor has fur­ther opined that the other weapon, that is, mango-chopper could cause chop wounds and incised wounds are possible with the sharp cutting margins. However, abrasions and lacerations are possible by blunt margins of the manage chopper. It is pertinent to note that the cause of death of Pramila is not disputed. Similarly, the opinion of the doc­tor regarding the query reports about the weapons is also not dis­puted and challenged. Therefore, it could be said without hesitation that the cause of death is the in­juries caused by weapons - Article No. 2-the knife and Article No. 8-the mango-chopper...

...The direct testimony is also corraborated by circumstantial evi­dence. For instance, admittedly one metal part was found in one of the injuries of the injuries of the deceased. Dr. Wankhede had taken that metal part and handed over it to the Police Constable. It was seized under a panchanama and then sent to C.A. for analysis. The report of the C.A. is to the ef­fect that the metal fragment in Exh. 12 tallies with the metal frag­ment collected from the mango­chopper-Exh. 8 in respect of spectro-chemical composition. The report further reveals that the metal fragment similar to that in Exh. 12 is not observed on a sharp-edge portionn of the Gupti­Exh.2...

...The accused is convicted for the offence punishable under Sec­tion 302 of Indian Penal Code and is sentenced to undergo Imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs. 1000/- in default to undergo further simple imprisonment for six months.

 ¤ Conclusion Top

In the above discussed case, it is very clear that the metal frag­ment found in the injury at the time of post mortem examination was the major piece of evidence.

Such foreign particles found in injuries before death, that is, dur­ing treatmennt or at the time of post mortem examination should be removed properly, packed, duly labelled mentioning 'the article with its situation in the body and should be handed over to investi­gating authority with the advice that either chemical analysis of the article should be done and/or it should be compared with the sus­pected weopon. This practice can be very much helpful in assistance for the administration of justice.

 ¤ Summary Top

In the present paper, a complete case is discussed, that is from the crime upto judgement in the court of law, from the Forensic point of view. The postmortem examination was conducted by the author in which a metallic fragment of size of a mustard seed was found in a incised wound. On chemical analy­sers examination, the metal frag­ment matched with the suspected weapon, in respect of spectro­chemical contents. This evidence became an important part in the investigation for conviction of the accused in the court of law. This indicates that when-ever any foreign body, whatever it may be or of whatever size, should not be neglected while examining the injury before death or after death, since it can become an important piece of evidence.

 ¤ References Top

1.Medicolegal post mortem report number 372/97, dated 17-4-1997, I.G.M.C., Nagpur (M.S.) India.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Judgement passed by second Ad­ditional Session Judge, Nagpur, in SeEssions trial No. 349 of 1997. The State of Maharashtra against Chandraprakash, Dated 20th Aug. 1998.  Back to cited text no. 2    


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