THE ABANDONING OF INFANTS 361 At 8 ajn. on the 13th January 1934, a newly -born male infant was found lying, exposed on a grave in Shahrnina, Lucknow. The infant was at once removed to the Queen Mary's Hospital, where he was found very cold with subnormal temperature and died at about 3 a.m. At the post-mortem examination by me at 1 p.m. on the 15th January 1934, the body was found to be that of a full-term male infant. There were no marks of external injury on the body. The brain, lungs and other viscera were congested. 5^jQjnission to supply the child with proper food according to its age. The starvation of a child constitutes slow death. The stomach and intestines must be examined for the presence of food. If the child is immature it is very difficult for the medical practitioner to say whether the death was due to natural causes owing to feebleness, or was due to starvation. The case depends chiefly upon circumstantial evidence. THE ABANDONING OF INFANTS When a newly-born infant after it is born alive, is exposed in any place with "the intention of abandoning it and death does not supervene, the parent or person responsible for the care of such infant is guilty under section 317, LP.C.j and may be punished with imprisonment of either description, for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with^both (see Appendix IV). The exposure need not be such as would put thechild of tender years (under twelve years according to the section) in the immediate danger of health or life. The Madras High Court has held that it was not necessary that the exposure and abandonment must be under such circum- stances as to endanger the life or the health of the child. The only ingredient required to complete the offence is an intention of wholly abandoning the child.21 The offender may be tried for murder or culpable homicide, as the case may be, if the infant dies in consequence of the exposure (see Explanation to section 317, I.P.C., Appendix IV) . e where infanticide is not proved, the mother is usually charged under section 318, I.P.C., with a lesser offence of concealment of birth by secretly burying or otherwise disposing of the dead body of her newly-born child, and may be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a period which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both (see Appendix IV). j£jiQfi& not matter whether the child died before or after or during its birth, but there must be a secret disposal of the body. Leaving the dead body of a child in the compound of a house or in a public place where it can be easily seen does not constitute an offence under this section. A woman, being pregnant with an illegitimate child, went to the village jungle for purpose of nature and there, in the presence of another woman, gave birth to a child, which died immediately. The dead body was left on the spot where the birth took place and was there discovered two days afterwards. It was held that the mere leaving of the body where the birth took place did not constitute an offence under this section as it did not amount to a secret disposal.22 But where a woman threw a child down a privy,23 and where a woman placed a living child in a place of concealment, and on subsequently revisiting that place found the child dead and left it there,24 it was held that this offence was committed. For the purpose of this section a foetus is considered a child, if it has attained so 4nuch maturity as to be capable of niaintaining a separate existence. 21. Boya Sankulamma, (1890) 1 Weir 331 ; Ratanlal and Thakore, Law of Ed. XVU, p. 798. 22. M. Saraswaii, (1905) LN.L.R. 89 ; Ratanlal and Thakore, Law of Crimes, Ed. p. 801 ; Cal. H. Court Cr. Appeal No. 801 of 1934, K. E. v. Sailabaladasi ; 36 Cr. Law Jour., 1935, p. 1460. 23. Elizabeth Cornwall, (1817) Russ. and Ry. 336; Ratanlal and Thakore, Law <yf Crimes, Ed. XVH, p. 801. 24. Hughes, (1850) 4 Cox 447 ; Ibid., p. 801.