In The Armchair

Judiciary?

Posted in India by Armchair Guy on June 17, 2010

I was shocked to read this in the Indian Express: Hurt yourself to prove case against wife, HC tells lawyer.  Briefly, wife accuses husband of physical abuse, showing wounds.  Husband claims wife self-inflicted the wounds.  Judge tells husband to self-inflict similar wounds on himself in order to demonstrate it is possible, while police officers film it!

Of course, it could be a case of the IE reporter incorrectly or incompletely explaining what actually happened.  Or even modifying the incident to get a sensational story.  With our media, you can’t be sure.  But assuming the story is true, it is utterly incomprehensible.

I don’t know whether forensic science can establish whether the wounds were self-inflicted or not.  Even if forensic science can do it, I’m not sure those facilities exist in India.  In either case, I am not sure what it would prove.  Suppose the husband did successfully inflict wounds resembling the wife’s wounds on himself.  Even so, the wife might be innocent — it wouldn’t prove anything.  The other side of the coin: suppose the wife did inflict the wounds on herself.  Why would a judiciary demand that an innocent party injure himself?  Whether the wife did or did not inflict such wounds on herself, the husband inflicting wounds on himself seems to have no judicial value.

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