Determination of Age- Introduction and Medico-legal Importance

Determination of Age- Introduction and Medico-legal Importance


Identification of Age

Age can be identified by

  1. Physical development
  2. Teeth
  3. Ossification centres- appearance & fusion
  4. Age-related changes

a) Age in intrauterine life

  • Developing morphology
  • Ossification centres appear
  • Germination of teeth

b)  From birth to 25 years

  • Physical features
  • Teeth
  • Ossification of bones
  • Wrist & Hand in children
  • Elbow, shoulder, pelvis, knee in adults
  • Skull, vertebrae & sternum in old people

 c) More than 25 years

  •  Physical features
  • Teeth- Gustafson s method
  • Changes in skeleton- closure of skull sutures

Age determination from Height and Weight 

Height of a children:

  • At birth 50cm,at 6months 60cm,at 1year 70cm, at 2years 8Ocm,at 3years 90cm,and at 4 years 100 cm.
  • At 4 years height becomes double than birth.(100 cm)

 Weight of a children:

  • At birth 2.5-3 kg, at 5 months 2 x birth weight, at 1 year 3 x birth weight and at 2 years it is 4 x birth weight.

Medico-Legal importance of Age

  • Criminal responsibility
  • Judicial punishment
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Marriage
  • Attainment of majority
  • Employment
  • Impotence & sterility
  • Criminal abortion
  • Infanticide

Criminal responsibility

  • Sec 82 IPC- child < 7 yrs, no criminal responsibility
  • (in Malaysia 10yrs)
  • Sec 83 IPC- child 7-12 yrs, liable for punishment
  • (in Malaysia 10-12yrs)
  • Indian Railways Act- child < 5 yrs not liable for punishment

Judicial punishment

  • Juvenile offender-
  • BELOW 18 yrs
  • Juvenile court
  • Rehabilitation school

Consent

  • Sec 89 IPC- child < 12 yrs cannot give valid consent to suffer any harm which may occur from an act done in good faith & for his/ her benefit.
  • Sec 87 IPC- child < 18 yrs cannot give valid consent( implied or expressed) to suffer any harm which may result from an act not intended or not known to cause death or grievous hurt. E.g. wrestling contest

Kidnapping

  • Sec 361-366 IPC- the offence of kidnapping- girl less than 18, boy less than 16 yrs
  • Sec 369 IPC- child less than 10 yrs
  • Sec 366(A), 372, 373 IPC- less than 18 yr girl for Prostitution
  • Sec 366(B)importing less than 21 yr girl for Prostitution

Rape

  • Sec 375 IPC – girl below 16 yrs
  • Wife  below 15 yrs

Marriage

  • Child Marriage Act
  • Girl above 18 & boy above 21

Cohabitation

  • Section 493 I.P.C
  • Every man who by deceit causes any woman who is not legally married to him to believe that she is lawfully married to him and to cohabit or have sexual intercourse with him in that belief, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten year, and shall also be liable for fine.
  • The law  presumes that no woman would cohabit, unless deceived by the man
  • There is danger among “live-in” relationships for the woman to falsely accuse the man of having deceived her, and thereby send the man behind bars for 10 yrs !!

Attainment of majority

  • 18 yrs
  • Adult franchise
  • Driving license
  • When guardian appointed by Court, person attains majority at age 21

Employment

  • Child labour – below 15 yrs
  • Adolescent labour- 15- 18 yrs
  • Adult labour- more than 18 yrs
  • Indian Factory Act- child below 14 cannot be employed in hazardous jobs
  • AMENDMENT: any child below the age of 14yrs cannot work

Infanticide

  • The killing of an infant (child below 1 yr)

CRIMINAL ABORTION

  • Viability- after 7 months
  • Gestational age of foetus important in case of criminal abortion in view of enhanced punishment
  • Evidence in court
  • 118 of IEA – No minimum age

Sterility & Impotence

  • A boy is sterile before puberty, may not be impotent before puberty
  • A girl is sterile before puberty & after menopause

Exam Important

Age determination from Height and Weight  

Height of a children:

  • At birth 50cm,at 6months 60cm,at 1year 70cm, at 2years 8Ocm,at 3years 90cm,and at 4 years 100 cm.
  • At 4 years height becomes double than birth.(100 cm)

Medico-Legal importance of Age

Criminal responsibility

  • Sec 82 IPC- child < 7 yrs, no criminal responsibility

Judicial punishment

  • Juvenile offender-
  • BELOW 18 yrs

Consent

  • Sec 87 IPC- child < 18 yrs cannot give valid consent( implied or expressed) to suffer any harm which may result from an act not intended or not known to cause death or grievous hurt. E.g. wrestling contest

Rape

  • Sec 375 IPC – girl below 16 yrs
  • Wife  below 15 yrs

Attainment of majority

  • 18 yrs

Employment

  •  AMENDMENT: any child below the age of 14yrs cannot work

Infanticide

  • The killing of an infant (child below 1 yr)

 

Don’t Forget to Solve all the previous Year Question asked on Determination of Age- Introduction and Medico-legal Importance

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