Introduction and Legal Procedure | Anatomy2Medicine
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Introduction and Legal Procedure

  • Medical Jurisprudence deals with Legal responsibilities of the physician with reference to physician-patient relationship (MCQ)
  • Medical ethics : Moral principles which should guide members of the medical profession in their dealings with each other, with their patients, and with their State would are grouped as Medical ethics
    • Examples of good ethical behavior
      • not criticizing the professional ability of another doctor
      • dealing with the female patients with utmost respect
      • not administering narcotic drugs to the patients for the sake of satisfying their addictive behavior.

 

    • Medical Etiquette deals with the conventional laws of courtesy observed between members of the medical profession
    • Coroner’s inquest (MCQ)
      • It is nowhere held in India now.
      • The last city to abolish it was Mumbai, where it was abolished on 29th July 1999.

 

  • Magistrate inquest :
  • If death has occurred in police custody, it would be investigated by an executive magistrate (MCQ)

 

      • Executive magistrate would also conduct an inquest when death has occurred in jail, during police interrogation, police lock-up or during police firing
    • Section 174 Cr.P.C. deals with Police inquest
    • Dowry death is investigated by District Magistrate (MCQ)
    • Section 174(4) specifically specifies which magistrates are empowered to hold inquests.
    • They are
      • District Magistrate
      • Sub-divisional Magistrate
      • Any other Executive Magistrate specifically empowered in this behalf by the State Government or the District Magistrate.
    • Note that Judicial Magistrates are not included (MCQ)

 

  • The term “Panchanama” refers to Inquest report

 

    • Medical Examiner system is the superior most form of inquest compared to
    • Police inquest , Magistrate’s inquest ,Coroner’s inquest
    • Between 28 States and 7 Union Territories of India there are a total of 21 High Courts at present.
    • trial by jury in India has been abolished in India
    • “voir dire(MCQ)
      • The phrase “voir dire” refers to the process of selecting a jury that is . competent and not biased
      • “voir dire“ [pronounced as vwahr (with a near-silent “r”) deer] mean “to speak the truth”.
      • The process refers to the interrogation of prospective jurors by the attorneys and judge in court.
    • Maximum sentence (A High yield MCQ in MD Entrance)

 

  • Maximum sentence which a District and Sessions Judge (DSJ)   may pass is Death sentence, but it must be confirmed by the High Court

 

      • An Assistant Sessions Judge can   pass a maximum sentence of imprisonment of upto 10 years

 

  • Maximum sentence which Judicial Magistrate of the First class may pass 3 years and a fine of Rs 10,000

 

      • Maximum sentence which can be passed by a Judicial Magistrate of the Second class is Imprisonment of 1 year and/or fine of Rs 5000
    • Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (MCQ)
      • sits in Metropolitan cities (like Delhi)
      • has the same powers as the powers of a Chief Judicial Magistrate
      • Maximum sentence which a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate can pass is Upto 7 years
    • Metropolitan Magistrate (MCQ)

 

  • Maximum sentence which a Metropolitan Magistrate can pass is Imprisonment for 3 years and fine of Rs 5,000
  • Metropolitan Magistrate has the same powers as that of Judicial Magistrate of the first class
  • “Juvenile Justice Board”

 

      • “The Juvenile Justice (Care of Protection of Children) Act, 2000
      • Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class.
      • He is designated as the Principal Magistrate.

 

  • Two social workers, of whom at least one shall be a woman.

 

      • This Board has all the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, i.e. it can pass a sentence of 3 years and a fine of Rs. 5000 only.
      • No social worker can be appointed as a member of the Board unless he has been actively involved in health, education, or welfare activities pertaining to children for at least seven years.
    • Under Section 311 Cr.P.C. does the court derive power to recall and reexamine any person already examined as a witness?
    • The person who initiates a lawsuit is known as Plaintiff (MCQ)
    • A doctor may be called to testify as:

 

  • Ordinary witness
  • Expert witness

 

      • Physician who treated a patient

 

  • Subpoena
  • The word subpoena means Under penalty (MCQ)

 

      • The word subpoena is synonymous with Summons
      • Subpoena is of two types
        • Subpoena ad testificandum (MCQ)

 

  • It compels a witness to attend and give evidence

 

        • Subpoena duces tecum (MCQ)
          • It compels a witness to give evidence and also bring with him certain documents in his possession (usually the post mortem or the medicolegal report) specified in the subpoena.
      • Conduct money in civil cases is given by the party which calls the witness
    • Medical evidence is recorded in following sequence. Oath, Examination-in-Chief, Cross- examination, Reexamination, Questions asked by the Judge

 

  • Section 178 of I.P.C.: If a medical witness refuses to take oath before giving evidence: he may be imprisoned for upto 6 months and/or fined upto’Rs. 1000
  • The main purpose of cross-examination to test the accuracy of statement of witness

 

    • Perjury means False evidence given by a witness after taking oath (MCQ)
    • If a doctor  issues a false  medical certificate, under Section 197 of I.P.C he be prosecuted
    • Even a lunatic can give evidence if he is not prevented by his lunacy to understand questions, or give rational answers to them.
    • Leading question
      • Section 141 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 defines a leading question
      • Any questions suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes to receive or expects to receive is called a leading question.
      • Leading questions are  generally permitted in Cross-examination (MCQ)
      • Leading questions normally not allowed during Examination-in-Chief and Reexamination
    • The defence witness in a murder trial is cross-examined by Public Prosecutor

 

  • Dying deposition vs  Dying declaration (MCQ)

 

      • Dying deposition is superior to Dying declaration because it is made on oath in presence of accused and the defence counsel can cross- examine the dying man
      • Recording a dying deposition is not followed in India
      • Recording a dying declaration is followed in India

 

  • Evidence – Prima facie and  Hearsay
  • Prima facie evidence
  • Evidence that would, if uncontested, reasonably establish a fact or raise a presumption of a fact is called Prima facie evidence

 

        • Example
        • a plaintiff can establish a prima facie case of race discrimination by establishing that (1) he or she belongs to a racial minority; (2) he or she applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (3) he or she was rejected for the position despite his or her qualifications; and (4) the position remained open after his or her rejection and the employer continued to seek applications from other people with similar qualifications to the plaintiff

 

  • Hearsay evidence
  • Second hand evidence, i.e. evidence that is not what the witness knows personally, but what someone else told him or her is best described as Hearsay evidence (MCQ)

 

        • In general, hearsay may not be admitted in evidence, but there are two notable exceptions (i) Dying declarations and(ii) Res gestae.
        • Res gestae (MCQ)
          • They are involuntary exclamations or acts made at the time the offense was committed and are so closely connected to the main fact in issue as to be a part of it.
          • These utterances or acts are not planned, but are forced from the individual by the excitement of the moment.

 

  • The ground of reliability upon which such declarations are received is their spontaneity

 

          • they are the facts talking through the party.
          • Example
            • Let us imagine that Laxman is passing through a dark and narrow lane and he hears Ravan running around violently and exclaiming Rama has stabbed him. Ravan dies subsequently without making any further statement. As far as Laxman is concerned, the fact that Rama stabbed Ravan is “hearsay evidence”, but since it was made by Ravan in the “heat of the moment“, it is an example of res gestae and admissible as valid evidence.
    • Cognizable offence (MCQ)
      • An offence for which a police officer can arrest a person without a warrant from magistrate
      • Examples (MCQ)

 

  • Rape
  • Voluntarily causing grievous hurt
  • Attempted suicide

 

    • Summons-case vs Warrant-case (MCQ)
      • Summons-case is a case relating to an offence for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for a term of two years

 

  • Warrant-case is a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years

 

    • In a case a woman sentenced to death is found to be pregnant the High Court may postpone the sentence for any period, and may if it thinks fit, commute the sentence to imprisonment for life

 

  • Recording Dying declaration (MCQ)

 

    • If a patient survives after having given dying declaration, what is the status of the dying declaration
      • It cannot be admitted under section 32 of Indian Evidence Act
      • It can be used for corroboration of testimony in court under section 157 of the Indian Evidence Act
    • For recording the dying declaration medical officer need only certify that the patient was fit to make a statement.
      • No need to prove or certify that a person is sane or insane, since everybody is considered sane unless proved otherwise.
  • A dumb witness can testify
  • by signs in an open court
  • By writing in an open court
  • Evidence so given shall be deemed to be oral evidence.