228 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE medical examiner. These articles help one materially in judging as to whether a particular weapon had caused the alleged injuries or not. The clothes should also be examined for the presence of cuts, rents, tears or burns coinciding with the wounds on the underlying parts of the body, but these might not coincide with the wounds, if the garment worn at the time of the assault was very loose and was disarranged during the struggle. The clothes should then be properly marked, sealed and handed? over to the police. Dangerous Weapon.—The sixth column of the form refers to the description of the weapon as to whether it is dangerous or not. It need not be filled in, as sections 324 and 326, I.P.C., describe a dangerous weapon as any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death (vide Appendix IV). Age of Injury.—lax the column of remarks the age of injury should be noted. It is frequently found that medical officers do not mention in their report the time when an injury was inflicted, but it is not fair to do so, inasmuch as "the guilt or innocence of a person charged with criminal wounding or with robbery, burglary, or dacoity may be proved from the injury found on the body of his victim or on his own body, for its appear- ance may or may not correspond to the time when it is alleged to have been inflicted according to the prosecution theory. Moreover, it is also possible that all the injuries found on a person might not have beenHtfiflicted on the same day. On July 9, 1931, I examined a Mahomedan woman alleged to have received certain injuries during a quarrel which took place four days ago. I found an incised wound, 1" by 1/6" by 1/6", over the crown of the head f" to the right of the middle line and 4" above the forehead. It was quite fresh and bleeding and appeared to have been self-inflicted on that very day. She had also a bruise, f" by J", on the palmar surface of the right middle finger below its second joint, and an abrasion with a dried scab, iA/ by V* over the left shoulder blade towards its lower part. These injuries appeared to be about four days old. It appeared that she received only the latter two injuries during the alleged quarrel, but to make the offence more serious she herself inflicted the wound on her head on the day of the examination. It is not easy to give the exact time of infliction of any injury, but an approximate time can be given from the data given below. Hence it is always necessary to mention " about" when giving the period of an injury. Data to ascertain the Age of Injury:— 1. The age of a bruise may be ascertained from the colour changes which its ecchyrnosis undergoes. These changes commence from eighteen to twenty-four hours after its infliction. 2. The age of a wound may be ascertained from observing the follow- ing appearances of its healing process : — Hie divided surfaces of an aseptic incised wound which are in apposition are covered with lymph in thirty-six hours. The edges will join together in three days, and the wound heals by first intention by the seventh day, when a red, tender, linear scar is visible. Such a wound on a vascular part like the face heals rapidly in from three to five days. A wound, which is not thoroughly aseptic and is gaping owing to loss of tissue, heals by the formation of granulation tissue. Its edges are bound together by blood and lymph during the first twelve hours. About the same time the margins are red and slightly swollen with leucocytic infiltration. The vascular endothelium shows distinct proliferative changes, and vascular buds are given off from the minute vessels at the periphery during twenty-four hours. A complete network of new capillary vessels is formed in thirty-six hours.