Can Self-Inflicted Injury be inflicted to support a False Accusation?

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A self-inflicted injury or injury is one that is committed by anyone intentionally. It is an intentional direct injury to one’s own skin tissue, usually without suicidal intent. It is also known as self-mutilation, self-abuse, or self-harm, occurs when a person intentionally and repeatedly harms themselves in an impulsive manner and not intended to be fatal.

The most common methods are head hittings or blows (21% -44%), skin cuts (70-90%), and burns (15% -35%). When in doubt, whether or not the injuries correspond to the alleged production method should be carefully considered.

It should be remembered that the application of actual cauterization or strong blistering agents to the body is a preferred method of treatment among hakims in India, and false accusations may be based on burns so produced. The presence of such burns on a corpse can also give rise to a mistaken suspicion as to the cause of death.

Homicide and burn torture are not uncommon. Not so long ago, several police officers were burned to death in a disturbance. Cases of husbands setting their wives’ clothes on fire as punishment for infidelity are not unheard of. Branding is not an uncommon form of punishment, especially in the case of children employed as domestic workers. Burning or marking torture is sometimes used by dacoits to force disclosure of the hiding place of valuables. Chevers mentions several cases in which women were burned about the pudenda as punishment for adultery. Homicide cases can be classified as cases in which an attempt is made to cover up a murder by burning the body of the murdered person. In such cases, nothing other than partially charred bone fragments can be discovered and it may then be impossible to form an opinion as to whether the fire was made before or after death.