About the Author:
Rishika Mahajan is a law student in LLOYD Law College in Greater Noida
Forensic science can be defined as the study of a branch of science to legal matters. The word “forensic” is derived from the Latin word “forensic” which means forum, a public place where senators and others debate and judicial proceedings were held. This area of science is much more widely known to the general public. But, many people debate on resolve cases without any delay. It is not a one-hour process which mostly shown in movies and series. In reality, it is a long process in which proper investigation is involved in the particular case to complete every case.
In every case, some issues have to be solved along with the proof from the context of both parties who argue issues with the help of constitutional, statutory and decisional law. The person who is called upon to bring science into the courtroom is mainly a forensic scientist. This scientific knowledge helps to understand the developing experiments which solve the question arising before the court. Forensic science comprises many branches like cyber forensic, handwriting or fingerprint, ballistics etc and also examines the objects or substances which are collected from the crime scene.
The conclusion of the case came out after examining the evidence with forensic science. Forensic science included various branches like toxicology, cyber forensic, hand-writing, fingerprinting, ballistics, forensic psychology, anthropology, geology, forensic engineering, and deontology. Forensic scientists examine objects, substances (including blood or drug samples), chemicals (paints, explosives, toxins), tissue traces (hair, skin), or impressions (fingerprints or tidemarks) left at the crime scene.
MEANING AND DEFINITIONS:-
Many philosophers like Grover, Klinker, Lambert, Fradella, Owen and Burke etc. gave a new shape to forensic science.
The main aim of Grover was towards the development of forensic science over the period. These developments are connected with cases of criminology in the Indian Legal System. It is the opinion of the author that there has been continuous effort upon forensic science to expand the forensic science laboratories and institutions.
Klinker explained the relationship between forensic science and criminal investigation. He said that “Forensic science is employed to investigate cases or questions that are of interest to the legal system and to help solve legal disputes.” Forensic science is working to investigate cases or question came out of the case during criminal proceedings and helps to solve such legal disputes. The author also discussed that forensic science is the fundamental tool to examine and interpretation of physical evidence.
Lambert has mainly focused on an empirical study of forensic science as a subject connects with legal ethics. The evidence collection, latent and fingerprint evidence, crime scene object examinations are important areas but some are lacking to perceive the importance in these areas:-
Firstly, these areas are usually handled by specially trained personnel who should have a graduation degree in hard science.
Secondly, the legal study should more connect with forensic science to understand their importance in a criminal investigation. Mostly, forensic science is provided in way of course areas to make it more important.
RELEVANCE OF OTHER LAWS:-
Some legal provisions support forensic analysis of criminal investigation:-
- Criminal Procedure Code, 1976.
Section 53 of CrPC states if the officer feels that their examination can provide some evidence of the crime then the accused of the case can be asked for medical examination There are many amendments which include the examination about blood-stain, DNA, profiling, semen test, swabs etc. has been limited to rape cases.
Section 164A of Criminal Procedure authorizes the medical examiner to examine the victim of the rape case within 24 hours.
In the judicial system, a forensic report is considered as strong evidence in every case.
- Evidence Act:-
Evidence means all the documents which are produced in front of the court for inspection. The evidence is of two types; Documentary evidence and Oral Evidence.
- Documentary Evidences:-
- Medical Certificates:- Medical Certificates are referred to bad health, insanity, intoxication, diseases, age and death of the person. These include the nature of the illness, period of death and reason of death. The one important thing which should be mentioned in the report is the signature or thumb impression of the patient and doctor. If these marks were absent in the report then the report can be challenged and under section 197 IPC false certificate is punishable.
- Medico-Legal Reports:- The investigation officer asked the doctor to prepare the report mostly in a criminal case like assault, rape and murder etc. These reports consist of two parts which include firstly, the facts observed on examination and secondly, the opinion drawn from the facts. The report mentioned the complete information regarding the date, time and place of examination and the name of the individual who identified the person or dead body. The necessary investigation should be done by the keep person under observation before giving the report. The reports should be transparent, short and legible and also avoid typographical mistakes.
- Exhibits:- The investigation officers sealed and send the clothes, weapon-related cases to the forensic lab. These include a notice or letter which mentioned the reason for sending this evidence. Then, forensic experts sent back this evidence along with examination.
- Oral Evidence:- The court sends notice to the witness who gives testimony to prove the evidence or exhibits or heard anything related to facts. Section 59 says that all the facts apart from the contents of documents can be proved by oral evidence. Section 60 states that the oral evidence must be direct in all cases.
- Constitutional Law:- There have been many debates on one of the major issues raised that the forensic evidence when produced in the court defeats the basic provision of law and Narco-analysis and its validity. According to article 20(3) of The Indian Constitution, an accused person cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself in his case. This article protects the rights of an accused person and also put limits on to police how extensive they can do to undergo the investigation. In the case of State of Bombay v. Kathi Kalu Oghad and Anr, Hon’ble Supreme Court held that compelling anyone for giving forensic evidence like hair serum, fingerprints, blood did not lead to violation of Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution.
ADVANCES IN FORENSIC SCIENCE AND LAW:-
- Norco analysis:-
Narco-analysis is the practice of control barbiturates to lower down the nervous system so that one can easily reveal information and feelings. During this time, it’s very difficult for one to lie. It is a debatable issue that the evidence produced before the court is admissible in the court because the accused is semi-conscious to whom the investigation officer tries to acquire information. It directly violates self-incrimination under article 20 of the Indian constitution. In the case law, Ramchandra Reddy and Ors V. The state of Maharashtra, the court allowed the constitutional validity of using narco analysis. Later, the case of Selvi and Ors. V. State of Karnataka and Anr. held that the person is in a semi-conscious state which cannot be considered conclusive and it cannot become part of every investigation process.
- Brain Mapping:-
The brain mapping test was developed in 1995 by Dr Farewell who was the director and chief of Scientist Brain Wave Science, IOWA. In this method, sensors are attached to the accuser’s head and seated before the computer monitor. The picture or sound is to show or heard resp. And then sensors monitor the signal of the brain and register P300 waves which match the information of the crime scene with information in the brain. In the U.S.A, this technique is mostly used to convict criminals in the case. But in India, it is not advancing and is unable to use as a part of a regular investigation.
- Polygraph or Lie detention Test:-
This examination is based on assumption that interacts with the mind and the body. It is conducted by various sensors of the polygraph machines attached to the body of the person. It records blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration and movement of muscles. This test is comprised of three phases-
- An interview before the commencement of the test.
- Chart recording
This was the first scientific test to be used for the investigation criminal field of the area. Then, one scientist, Keeler re-studies the polygraph machine and adds a psycho-galvanometer to record the electrical movement of the skin.
PROBLEMS FACED BY COMPANIES:-
- No proper usage of Technical domain:- There are many reasons behind the lack of usage of forensic evidence like the investigation officers are not skilled and have proper knowledge regarding the process of investigation in the case. Most of the time, investigation officers have only used the old, non-scientific techniques.
- Autonomy of forensic labs:- In India, the forensic science labs are under the control of the home department or police department in which some departments are unable to maintain sovereignty. There are some cases where the police department interferes with the working of forensic labs. It is cardinal for the forensic laboratories to be independent without any interference from any department which resulted in unbiased results.
- Lack of infrastructure:- There is a lack of infrastructure and forensic scientists in laboratories. There are many essential which are missed in this sector like:-
- Lack of equipment
- Coordination between police and forensic
- Unskilled forensic experts
SUGGESTIONS AND CONCLUSION:-
Forensic science has been grown up over the past several decades. In many cases, there were several issues raised and criticized regarding the handling of critical forensic evidence. There is a need for transparency in this field of law which include video conferencing as court testimony. The college or universities should include forensic science as a subject to provide skills, knowledge and problems that can be solved in the field of forensic science to grow and the young generation can develop more interest in this field. The main motive of courses is to make students more skilled and also solve the problem of unemployment in crime laboratories.
Forensic Science plays a major role to solve criminal cases through investigating the things like real cause and period behind the death, identifying suspects and finding the criminal’s identity. It also included autopsies to determine the cause of death and the nature of injury found on the body. Then, autopsies report helps in finding the right weapon through which injury happened on the body of the victim. It includes evidence like fibres, blood, fingerprint and hairs which IO seized and gives to the forensic department for examination. The law and forensic science have a close relationship with each other.
The study of medical jurisprudence is required of practitioners in the legal field. The medical practitioner must show the true things and put them before the lawyers and judges in the court. There are many applications of forensic science in a criminal investigation like DNA, Blood, Semen & other Biological Fluids, Bullet, Weapon & Cartridge case Identification, Drugs of Abuse & Narcotic drugs and Homemade bombs & Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
There are many cases of medical negligence which affect society at large. These medical professionals for criminal negligence are not providing proper service and good to case as it affects the lives of accused, victims as well as complainants. These methods are also used to vindicate the innocence of the accused. There are so many improvements in the techniques of the medical sciences. But, sometimes the medical negligence destroys the true nature of the case. Finally, the conclusion comes out is that medical jurisprudence is the combination of forensic science and knowledge of the law. This union is used by scientists to help the legal team to handle the case.