Book detail

Forensic Evidence
Admissibility in Criminal Justice System
Author: Pratyusha Das
Edition: 1st
Year of publication: 2019
No. of pages: 310
ISBN: 9788171773466
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
Price: 725.00
You pay 653.00
Related interest

When a successful criminal investigation is not possible by the traditional method of eye-witness-oriented criminal justice system, the modern technology relating to forensic evidence helps the judiciary to convict the accused or confirm his acquittal. The advent of forensic science technologies and development of tools made great scientific breakthrough in the decision-making process of criminal cases.
Road map
The book is divided into six chapters, beginning with Introduction followed by DNA, Ballistics, Fingerprint, Toxicology & Chemical Analysis and Cyber Forensics.  INTRODUCTION provides a road map of the book while the chapter relating to DNA discusses the mechanisms used for DNA fingerprinting technique, admissibility of DNA evidence and how it helps to determine identity, paternity or maternity of a child. The chapter on BALLISTICS provides a comprehensive account of classification of firearms and their characteristics. The next chapter is FINGERPRINT which discusses adequately the classification, principle on which such evidence is based, mechanism for collection of fingerprint and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The chapter on TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMICAL ANALYSIS catalogues the classification of poisons, principle on which toxicology evidence is based, isolation & identification of poison and criminal cases in which toxicology evidence is used. The last chapter is CYBER FORENSICS which is the issue of the day. This chapter deals elaborately with the admissibility of electronic evidence, computer fraud, tampering with computer source code, hacking, etc. which will be very much helpful to solve the problems relating to cyber crimes.
Topics discussed
An in-depth study has been made of all the important topics relating to the subject, with the help of the pronouncements of the apex court and different High Courts and accordingly it may be treated as an useful tool for busy legal practitioners, judges and researchers as well.

• DNA profiling technique
• Determination of paternity
• Ballistic imaging analysis
• Fingerprint evidence
• Toxicology evidence
• Cyber forensics
• Daubert guidelines

Chapter 1   Introduction                                                                                 ..... 1
                   1  Brief insight into the history and
                       development of forensic science................................................. 4
                   2  Divisions and facilities provided by the laboratories................... 9
                               • Ballistic Division.............................................................. 9
                               • Chemistry Division........................................................... 9
                               • Serology Division........................................................... 10
                               • Toxicology Division....................................................... 10
                        2.1  Facilities Offered by other Expert Institutions................... 11
                               • The Serologist and Chemical Examiner
                                  to the Government of India............................................. 11
                               • Central Fingerprint Bureau, Kolkata................................ 11
                               • The State Fingerprint Bureau........................................... 12
                   3  Types of forensic evidence....................................................... 12
                        3.1  DNA Profiling Technique (DNA tests).............................................. 13
                        3.2 Ballistics............................................................................ 14
                        3.3  Fingerprints....................................................................... 14
                        3.4  Forensic Toxicology.......................................................... 16
                   4  Existing Indian Laws................................................................. 16
                   5  Nature and trend of scientific evidence...................................... 17
                        5.1  Evidence........................................................................... 17
                   6  Nature of forensic evidence and future trends........................... 18
                        6.1  Trends............................................................................... 18
                   7  Indirect evidence....................................................................... 19
                        7.1  Illustrations....................................................................... 19
                   8 Principles of admitting scientific evidence
                       by United States (US) courts..................................................... 20
                   9  Laws on expert evidence in US................................................. 24
                 10  Basics for admissibility............................................................. 26
                 11  Principles of admitting scientific evidence
                       in United Kingdom (UK/EU) .................................................... 30
                        11.1  Assistance ...................................................................... 30
                        11.2  Relevant expertise........................................................... 31
                        11.3  Impartiality ..................................................................... 31
                        11.4  Evidentiary reliability...................................................... 32
                 12 Relationship among the four admissibility test.......................... 33
                        12.1  Opinion evidence and evidence of fact............................ 33
                 13  ........................ Background of the Law Commissions Report.......   34
                 14  Principles of admitting scientific evidence by
                       German courts........................................................................... 36
                 15  DNA evidence in Germany ....................................................... 41
                 16  Principles of admitting scientific evidence by
                       Indian courts............................................................................. 42
Chapter 2   Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)                                                     ... 44
                   1  Introduction.............................................................................. 44
                   2  DNA fingerprinting.................................................................... 46
                        2.1  Mechanisms used for the DNA
                               fingerprinting technique..................................................... 48
                                 2.1.1   RFLP (Restriction Fragment
                                           Length Polymorphism) process ............................ 49
                                 2.1.2   PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
                                           technique............................................................... 50
                                 2.1.3   STR (Short Tandem Repeats) technique................ 50
                   3  Admissibility of DNA evidence in criminal cases...................... 53
                   4 Admissibility of DNA evidence in determining
                       paternity and maternity.............................................................. 60
                   5  Grouping of cases..................................................................... 63
                        5.1  Rape and murder cases ..................................................... 63
                        5.2  Kidnapping, rape and murder............................................ 66
                        5.3 Unnatural offence and murder........................................... 67
                        5.4 Murder ............................................................................. 67
                        5.5 Dowry death and cruelty by husband
                               and relatives of husband................................................... 72
                        5.6  Kidnapping, abduction and murder................................... 72
                        5.7  Kidnapping and rape......................................................... 74
                        5.8 Kidnapping and abduction................................................. 74
                        5.9  Dacoity and murder .......................................................... 75
                        5.10  Theft and murder............................................................ 75
                        5.11  Rape ............................................................................... 76
                        5.12  Denial of paternity........................................................... 79
                   6  Cases in which DNA evidence was used in
                       determining paternity or maternity............................................. 79
Chapter 3   Ballistics    .................................................................................. ... 85
                   1 Introduction.............................................................................. 85
                   2 Principle on which ballistic evidence is based........................... 87
                        2.1  Ballistic imaging analysis technology................................. 88
                   3 Classification of firearms.......................................................... 90
                        3.1  Shotgun ............................................................................ 90
                        3.2  Rifles................................................................................. 90
                        3.3  Revolver ........................................................................... 90
                        3.4  Pistol ................................................................................ 90
                        3.5  Improvised firearms ......................................................... 91
                   4  Characteristics of firearms......................................................... 91
                   5  Classification of ammunition .................................................... 92
                        5.1  Cartridge case/shell/empty ................................................ 92
                        5.2  Primer cap......................................................................... 92
                        5.3  Powder or propellant......................................................... 93
                               •           Gunpowder .......................................................... 93
                               •           Smokeless powder ............................................... 93
                               •           Semi-smokeless powder ...................................... 93
                        5.4  Wads ................................................................................ 93
                        5.5  Projectiles ......................................................................... 93
                   6  Characteristics of ammunition .................................................. 94
                   7  Definition of firearms under Arms Act 1959 ............................ 94
                   8  Firearms evidence collection and procedures............................ 96
                        8.1 Mechanism used for collection of
                               ballistic evidence............................................................... 96
                        8.2 Detection of residues on hand........................................... 97
                        8.3 Nature of injuries.............................................................. 97
                                 8.3.1   Entrance wound ................................................... 98
                                 8.3.2   Exit wound ........................................................... 98
                        8.4 Handling, collection and preservation
                               of evidence........................................................................ 98
                   9 Admissibility of ballistic evidence in criminal cases ................. 98
                        9.1  Opinion of ballistic expert............................................... 105
                        9.2  Forensic evidence leads to acquittal................................. 106
                 10  Grouping of cases .................................................................. 108
                        10.1   Murder cases................................................................ 108
                        10.2   Murder and criminal conspiracy .................................. 120
                        10.3   Murder and unlawful assembly ................................... 125
                        10.4   Murder and dishonest misappropriation
                                  of property .................................................................. 125
                        10.5   Murder and attempt to murder...................................... 125
                        10.6   Hurt and culpable homocide not
                                  amounting to murder.................................................... 127
                        10.7   Sedition ....................................................................... 128
                        10.8   Unlawful possession of arms/attempt
                                  to murder/criminal conspiracy...................................... 128
Chapter 4    Fingerprint                                                                                 . 131
                   1  Introduction............................................................................ 131
                   2 Legal history of fingerprints.................................................... 133
                   3  Classification of fingerprints .................................................. 135
                        3.1  Classification of fingerprints on its 
                               availability on the crime scene......................................... 135
                        3.2 Classification of fingerprints on the
                               basis of its formation on the crime scene........................ 136
                                 3.2.1   Modes of determining the identification
                                           of the fingerprint found from the
                                           crime scene......................................................... 137
                                 3.2.2   ACEV system...................................................... 137
                   4  Principle on which fingerprint evidence is based..................... 139
                   5  Method/mechanism for collection of
                       fingerprints for criminal investigation...................................... 140
                        5.1  Locating fingerprint......................................................... 140
                        5.2  Photographing the fingerprint.......................................... 142
                        5.3  Lifting the fingerprint...................................................... 143
                        5.4  Comparing the fingerprint................................................ 143
                   6  Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)............... 143
                   7  Legal provisions under which fingerprint evidence
                       was used/referred ................................................................... 144
                   8 Criminal cases in which fingerprint evidence
                       was used/referred for recording conviction
                       or acquittal.............................................................................. 147
                        8.1  Murder and house trespass ............................................ 147
                                 8.1.1   Fingerprint evidence along with other
                                           evidences proved guilt of the accused................. 147
                                 8.1.2   Fingerprint evidence corroborated
                                           other evidences................................................... 147
                                 8.1.3   Circumstantial evidence relating to
                                           fingerprints and footprints................................... 148
                        8.2  Murder............................................................................ 148
                                 8.2.1   Accused persons pleaded guilty and
                                           fingerprint evidence corroborated
                                           the fact................................................................ 148
                                 8.2.2   Evidence doubtful—fingerprint
                                           evidence thus obtained from accused
                                           was of no use...................................................... 148
                                 8.2.3   Misreading of evidence including
                                           fingerprint evidence not proved........................... 149
                                 8.2.4   Chain of circumstantial evidence not
                                           complete—fingerprint evidence not
                                           obtained in presence of Magistrate...................... 149
                                 8.2.5   Circumstantial evidence jointly
                                           produced guilt of the accused.............................. 149
                                 8.2.6   Fingerprint evidence formed part
                                           of the complete chain without any
                                           missing link......................................................... 150
                                 8.2.7   Further corroboration with fingerprint
                                           evidence.............................................................. 150
                                 8.2.8   Prosecution witnesses failed to establish
                                           accusations against accused and 
                                           fingerprint of other accused was found 
                                           who was already acquitted................................... 151
                                 8.2.9   Fingerprints could not be relied upon
                                           as not taken procedurally.................................... 151
                                 8.2.10 No reliance place on opinion of
                                            fingerprint expert as prosecution 
                                            failed to point guilt of the accused...................... 152
                                 8.2.11 Fingerprint evidence not reliable 
                                            and could not establish identity of
                                            deceased............................................................. 152
                        8.3  Fingerprint evidence of no use as there
                               were contradictory evidences ......................................... 153
                        8.4  Murder and criminal conspiracy...................................... 153
                                 8.4.1   Fingerprint evidences corroborated
                                           other evidences................................................... 153
                                 8.4.2   When testimonies of eyewitnesses
                                           are trustworthy: corroborative
                                           fingerprint evidence supports the
                                           prosecution case ................................................. 154
                        8.5  Murder/kidnapping and abduction .................................. 154
                                 8.5.1   Prosecution failed to prove 
                                           fingerprint evidence............................................. 154
                        8.6  Circumstantial evidence corroborated
                               prosecution evidence....................................................... 155
                                 8.6.1   Fingerprint evidence corroborated
                                           other substantive evidences................................. 156
                        8.7  Murder and receiving of stolen property......................... 156
                                 8.7.1   Fingerprint evidence corroborated
                                           other evidences................................................... 156
                        8.8  Murder, robbery and dacoity........................................... 157
                                 8.8.1   No link between the fingerprint
                                           evidences forwarded by the
                                           prosecution witnesses......................................... 157
                                 8.8.2   Corroboration by fingerprint evidence................. 157
                                 8.8.3   Fingerprint evidence corroborated
                                           other evidences .................................................. 158
                                 8.8.4   Fingerprint evidence a link in the
                                           chain of circumstances........................................ 158
                                 8.8.5   When fingerprint evidence becomes
                                           crucial and convincing......................................... 158
                                 8.8.6   Fingerprint evidence as a component
                                           helped in completing the chain of
                                           evidence.............................................................. 159
                                 8.8.7   Corroboration of the prosecution
                                           version by identification of fingerprints
                                           of the accused..................................................... 159
                                 8.8.8   Fingerprint evidence scientifically
                                           established beyond doubt.................................... 160
                        8.9  Forgery and cheating....................................................... 161
                                 8.9.1   Prosecution witnesses required to
                                           corroborate fingerprint evidence.......................... 161
                                 8.9.2   Taking specimen fingerprints and
                                           handwriting of accused not hit by
                                           Article 20(3)........................................................ 162
                        8.10  Theft and murder........................................................... 163
                                 8.10.1  Intention when relevant in fingerprint
                                             evidence............................................................. 163
                                 8.10.2  Circumstantial evidence together
                                             with the fingerprint evidence.............................. 163
                        8.11  Theft and house trespass............................................... 164
                                 8.11.1  Corroboration of fingerprint evidence
                                             by circumstantial evidence................................. 164
                        8.12  Murder and offences under the Arms Act..................... 164
                                 8.12.1  Fingerprint evidence irrelevant........................... 164
                                 8.12.2  Fingerprint evidence to be properly
                                             cross-examined.................................................. 165
Chapter 5    Toxicology and Chemical Analysis        ..................................... 168
                   1  Introduction............................................................................ 168
                   2  Post mortem using forensic toxicology.................................... 169
                   3  Classification of poisons......................................................... 171
                        3.1 Classification on the basis of action on the body............. 171
                                 3.1.1   Corrosives......................................................... . 171
                                 3.1.2   Irritants .............................................................. 171
                                 3.1.3   Neurotics............................................................. 171
                        3.2  Classification on the basis of physical
                               and chemical properties................................................... 172
                                 Metals                                                                      172
                                   (a)   Mercury............................................................... 172
                                   (b) Lead..................................................................... 172
                                   (c)   Copper................................................................. 172
                                   (d) Arsenic ................................................................ 172
                                   (e)   Thallium .............................................................. 173
                                   (f)   Antimony............................................................. 173
                                 Non-metals..................................................................... 173
                                   (a)   Cyanides ............................................................. 173
                                   (b) Yellow Phosphorus.............................................. 173
                                   (c)   Iodine .................................................................. 173
                                   (d) Strong Acids and Alkalis...................................... 173
                                   (e)   Gases................................................................... 174
                                   (f)   Radio Isotopes..................................................... 174
                                   3.3  Organic poisons .................................................. 174
                                 Volatile substances......................................................... 174
                                   (1) Ethyl Alcohol ...................................................... 174
                                   (2) Other Alcohols .................................................... 174
                                   (3) Phenol.................................................................. 174
                                   (4) Miscellaneous substances ................................... 175
                                 Non-volatile material...................................................... 175
                                   (1) Alkaloids.............................................................. 175
                                   (2) Barbiturates ......................................................... 175
                                   (3) Glycosides .......................................................... 175
                                   (4) Insecticides and Pesticides................................... 175
                                   (5) Abortifacients ...................................................... 176
                   4  Principle on which toxicology evidence is based..................... 176
                   5  Examination and collection of evidence at
                       the scene................................................................................. 177
                   6  Isolation and Identification of Poison...................................... 178
                   7  Legal history of toxicology evidence....................................... 179
                   8  Legal provisions under which toxicology
                       evidence was used or referred................................................. 181
                   9  Criminal cases in which toxicology evidence
                       was used/referred for recording conviction
                       or acquittal.............................................................................. 183
                        9.1  Rape................................................................................ 183
                                 9.1.1   Proved facts established the offence
                                           of rape................................................................. 183
                                 9.1.2   No corroboration between version of
                                           prosecutrix and her mother hence
                                           conviction recorded on attempt .......................... 184
                                 9.1.3   Although the victim was in a state of
                                           virginity still offence consisted of rape................ 184
                                 9.1.4   Corroboration of prosecutrix version
                                           with other evidences............................................ 185
                                 9.1.5   Doctor’s statement is not ultimate to
                                           prove case of rape............................................... 185
                                 9.1.6   Trustworthy testimony of prosecutrix
                                           overrides corroboration with other
                                           evidences............................................................ 186
                                 9.1.7   Prosecution proved guilt beyond
                                           reasonable doubt ................................................ 186
                                 9.1.8   Two medical reports contradictory to
                                           each other ........................................................... 187
                        9.2  Rape and murder ............................................................ 188
                                 9.2.1   Motive and vital links of chain to bring
                                           home guilt of the accused were missing............... 188
                                 9.2.2   Material particulars of the chemical
                                           analyzers report and the prosecution
                                           case did not corroborate but conviction
                                           awarded as rarest of rare cases............................ 189
                                 9.2.3   Chemical examiner’s report revealed
                                           same blood group of both the deceased
                                           woman and the accused....................................... 190
                                 9.2.4   Chemical analyzer’s report and the
                                           medical report corroborated the
                                           prosecution version............................................. 190
                                 9.2.5   Chemical examiner’s determination
                                           on the stained earth and sample
                                           earth objectively determined the
                                           spot of occurrence............................................... 191
                        9.3  Rape and assault.............................................................. 192
                                 9.3.1   Pending the chemical analysis report
                                           it is not proper to release the petitioner
                                           on bail................................................................. 192
                        9.4  Murder............................................................................ 193
                                 9.4.1   Chemical examiner’s report
                                           corroborated with other evidences....................... 193
                                 9.4.2   Chemical examination detected no
                                           poison in the deceased stomach ......................... 196
                                 9.4.3   Toxicology report corroborated the
                                           testimony of witnesses ....................................... 197
                                 9.4.4   Chemical examination corroborated
                                           the facts of the case............................................. 197
                                 9.4.5   Doctor gave his report basing on
                                           the chemical examiner’s report............................ 198
                                 9.4.6   Chemical examiner’s report corroborated
                                           other evidences to prove the
                                           prosecution case.................................................. 198
                                 9.4.7   Identification of the dead body was
                                           confirmed by the chemical examiner’s
                                           report.................................................................. 199
                                 9.4.8   Chemical analysis revealed cyanide
                                           poisoning but motive could not be
                                           established ......................................................... 201
                                 9.4.9   Chemical analysis report corroborated
                                           other evidences to confirm the types
                                           of arms used in the massacre.............................. 205
                        9.5  Murder and hurt.............................................................. 208
                                 9.5.1   Chemical examiner’s report cannot
                                           be relied upon and lack of common
                                           intention.............................................................. 208
                                 9.5.2   Chemical examiner’s report disclosed
                                           presence of celphos poison which
                                           resulted in acquittal............................................. 209
                        9.6  Murder and unnatural offence......................................... 212
                                 9.6.1   Chemical analysis corroborated
                                           by other evidences.............................................. 212
                        9.7  Dowry death.................................................................... 213
                                 9.7.1   Chemical analysis revealed insecticide
                                           poisoning but demand for dowry could
                                           not be proved...................................................... 213
                        9.8  Murder and cruelty by husband and
                               relatives of husband........................................................ 213
                                 9.8.1   Chemical analyzer’s report was referred
                                           to point out how the kerosene lamp
                                           was used to murder the accused.......................... 213
                                 9.8.2   Non-explanation of the blood stain
                                           found by chemical analysis coupled
                                           with other evidences completed the
                                           chain of circumstances ....................................... 214
                                 9.8.3   Chemical analysis ruled out death by
                                           poison at the circumstances proved
                                           that death was due to strangulation
                                           and resultant asphyxia......................................... 215
                                 9.8.4   Death due to asphyxia was not
                                           proved and presence of poison bottle.................. 216
                        9.9  Cruelty by husband and relatives and
                               dowry death.................................................................... 217
                                 9.9.1   Chemical examination revealed death
                                           by insecticide poison which was not
                                           substantiated and non-consideration
                                           of that portion of the evidence which
                                           was taken into consideration by the
                                           trial court............................................................. 217
                                 9.9.2   Chemical examination revealed
                                           Aluminium Phosphide poison as
                                           cause  of death corroborated by other
                                           evidences............................................................ 219
                        9.10  Murder and unlawful assembly..................................... 220
                                 9.10.1   Chemical examination corroborated
                                              the objective findings of the IO fitted
                                              in with the prosecution case.............................. 220
                                 9.10.2   Chemical examination conducted
                                              but prosecution had not ruled out
                                              possibility of articles, could have
                                              been tampered with, on account of
                                              absence of any evidence regarding
                                              sealing of articles.............................................. 221
                        9.11  Attempt to murder......................................................... 221
                        9.12  Rape and robbery.......................................................... 222
                        9.13  Rape and hurt................................................................ 222
                        9.14  Penalty for illegal cultivation of poppy etc. ................... 223
                        9.15  Possession of charas under Narcotics
                                 Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985................ 224
                                 9.15.1   Chemical examination of the substance
                                              recovered from the  accused
                                              was found to be a narcotic drug ....................... 224
                                 9.15.2   Delay in sending the sample to
                                              the FSL for chemical analysis........................... 225
                                 9.15.3   Material sent for examination should
                                              reach the FSL with intact seals.......................... 227
                                 9.15.4   FSL Report clearly stated that the
                                              seals were intact and matched with
                                              the specimen seals hence issue raised
                                              regarding tampering of seals is baseless............ 228
                                 9.15.5   Seizure and taking of samples for the
                                              purpose of chemical examination
                                              were doubted.................................................... 229
                                 9.15.6   Doubt regarding delay of more than
                                              two months for sending the sample to
                                              CFSL required to be removed by
                                              prosecution....................................................... 230
                                 9.15.7   Delay in sending the sample to the 
                                              office of the chemical examiner........................ 231
Chapter 6    Cyber Forensics                                                                         . 233
                   1  Introduction............................................................................ 233
                   2  Cyber forensic and investigation process................................ 234
                   3  Cyber forensic and cyber crime............................................... 235
                   4  Legal provisions under which cyber crimes
                       are prosecuted/referred ........................................................... 236
                   5  Judicial pronouncements on IT Act 2000................................ 236
                   6  Use of cyber forensic for collection and analysis
                       of electronic evidence/admissibility of cyber
                       forensics in the decision making process................................ 237
                   7  Offences under Information Technology Act 2000................. 239
                        7.1  Access related crimes...................................................... 239
                                 7.1.1   Unauthorized access............................................ 239
                                 7.1.2   Hacking............................................................... 243
                        7.2  Cyber pornography......................................................... 245
                                 7.2.1   Cases on publishing obscene material................. 247
                                 7.2.2   Case on child pornography ................................. 248
                        7.3  Computer fraud............................................................... 249
                                 7.3.1   Cases on identity theft........................................ 250
                                 7.3.2   When offences are bailable bail
                                            cannot be denied.......................................................................... 252
                                 7.3.3   At the time of framing charge, court
                                            is to see whether prima facie charge
                                            exist under s. 66D of IT Act 2000...................... 253
                        7.4 Computer based forgery.................................................. 255
                        7.5  Tampering with computer source code............................ 256
                                 7.5.1   Cases on tampering with computer source code.. 257
                        7.6  Cyber terrorism............................................................... 259
                                 7.6.1   Case on cyber terrorism...................................... 260
                                 7.6.2   Hate speech......................................................... 261
                        7.7  Liability of intermediaries............................................... 263
                                 7.7.1   Case on liability of intermediary ......................... 264
                        7.8  Liability of company....................................................... 270
                                 7.8.1   Cases on liability of company............................. 271

Pratyusha Das

LLM, PhD Assistant Professor, Amity Law School



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