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Legal

A Critical Analysis of Crime Investigation


System in India
By:
Megha Shankar
Roll no: 081
Enrollment no: 100232
May 2012

Research Paper

Submitted to:
Dr. Meenakshi Punia

Legal Research Paper

A Critical Analysis of Crime Investigation System in India


May: 2012

Table of Contents

Introduction
Methodology
First Information Report
Police Misconduct
Analysis of police misconduct through cases
The failure of Criminal Justice System
Criminalization of politics
Instances of criminalization of politics
Forensic Investigation
Diverse Scenarios
The facts can be created
Forensic Science and Criminal Prosecution
Poisoning
Forensic Science: Legal Applications
Forensic Science Laboratories: Developments
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Necessity of Application of Forensic Science


Assistance to crime victims in India
Crime Scenario in India

Introduction
Ever since the enactment of Act V of 1861, whereby the police system of British India got
streamlined, there were proposals at regular intervals to form a specialised detective wing.
However it was not till the Police Commission of 1902-03, which finally recommended the
formation of a Criminal Investigation Department for each of the provinces that the concept was
seriously examined. It was recommended that a Criminal Investigation Department, (CID)
should be constituted in each province under a Deputy Inspector General of Police for the
purpose of collating and distributing information regarding organized crimes. It would also be in
charge of Railway Police and the Finger Print Bureau, which was earlier under the Secretariat
Police officer. The CID would also undertake the investigation of specialised crimes that require
technical expertise. Finally, on 21 March 1905, the Government of India accepted the proposal of
the Commission and issued instructions to start the department in every province by 1907. In
Bengal, the CID came into existence on 1 April, 1906, under Mr. C.W.C. Plowden. 1 Crime
Branch's tasks are to investigate criminal cases, which spans across multiple districts or even
states. The Crime Branch may also take up complicated cases like communal riot cases,
circulation of counterfeit currency, or very complicated murder cases. The local police along
with their normal duties would find it tough to allot men to these complicated cases. Crime
Branch investigation is ordered either by a judicial court, by the Director General of Police, or
the government. Crime Branch officers can be transferred to the law and order police, and also
vice versa.2
1 Taken from www.cidwestbengal.gov.in by a message from DGP Shri V.V. Thambi, Director General of
Police, CID, West Bengal as visited on April 21, 2012.
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Forensic Sciences also play a very significant role in the investigation system. This also entails a
long history in itself. This was, somewhat, during the nineteenth century, when this science
supported in tracking criminals. The application of science and technology to the detection and
investigation of crime and administration of justice is not new to India. Although our ancestors
did not know forensic science in its present form, scientific methods in one way or the other
seem to have been followed in the investigation of crime. Its detailed reference is found in
Kautilyas Arthashastra, which was written about 2300 years ago. Indians studied various
patterns of the papillary lines, thousands of years ago. It is presumed that they knew about the
persistency and individuality of fingerprints, which they used as signatures. Even Mr. KM Kata,
a frequent contributor to Nature, stated that the Chinese records proved the use of fingerprints
in an ancient kingdom of southern India. The Indians knew for long that the handprints, known
as the Tarija, were inimitable. The use of fingerprints as signatures by illiterate people in India,
introduced centuries ago, was considered by some people as ceremonial only, till it was
scientifically proved that identification from fingerprints was infallible. 3 During the nineteenth
century, when the cases of death due to poisoning posed a problem to the law enforcement
agencies, a need was felt for isolating, detecting and estimating various poisons absorbed in the
human system.
This research paper mainly deals with the fallacy in the crime investigation department dealing
with different cases. Even though the conditions have changed now and we have advanced
towards a better life, people are not safe today. Crime records are immensely increasing at a
considerable rate and our investigators are lagging much behind because they take a good
amount of time to solve a single case handled to them. The inception of the research paper is
regarding the methods which are usually followed by an ordinary man to approach the police
department in case they face any unexpected circumstance. Then, the errors in the inquiry system
form the latter part.
Methodology
This research work has been designed as a doctrinal study.
(I)

Objectives:

This research work addresses the following objectives:

To study the process of the lodging of complaints in the police station;

To analyze the failure of the police department to register any FIR;

Instances of police Misconduct

2 Taken from www.en.wikipedia.org as visited on April 21, 2012.


3 Article by Tewari RK, Ravikumar KV, History and Development of Forensic Science in India posted
in the year 2000 taken from www.jpgmonline.com as visited on April 22, 2012.
5

To analyze the failure of the current criminal justice system;

To evaluate the instance of criminalization in politics;

Study of the forensic tools available for the investigation purposes;

Critical analysis of the forensic sciences as an investigation tools;

Criticisms regarding the current investigation departments in India

(II)

Hypothesis:

The root cause of the failure in the crime investigation system has been crime among the
investigators. They themselves seem to be corrupted. And the failure of the judiciary, in most
cases, to give fair verdict depending upon the facts and circumstances of the cases.
This research paper elucidates the lacunas in the present Crime Investigating System in India.
Case examples have been adduced in order to give different pictures of the failures and loop
holes in the Investigating System in India. Therefore, it is well evident that such failures may
have serious consequences and this will indeed create a barrier in the growth of the country.
Unsolved crimes, unsuccessful prosecutions, unpunished offenders and wrongful convictions
bring the criminal justice system to disrepute. It seems most unlikely that with all the checks
and balances of the criminal justice system, someone today could be convicted of a crime he
or she did not commit. While the imprisonment of an innocent person is pretence of justice, a
criminal investigative failure more commonly results in the offender escaping justice. A
wrongful conviction also allows the real offender to go free. This paper seeks to examine the
failures of the department while handling the felony. The abhorrent attitude of the police and
the time consumed by them to deal with the criminals leaves the families of the victims in a
depressing state. Moreover, the statistical data comprising the catastrophic condition of the
Investigating Department forms the part of the research.
First Information Report
First information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive
information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that
reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called First information Report. It is
generally a complaint lodged with the police by the victims of a cognizable offence or by
someone on his or her behalf. The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the
Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. When information about the commission of a cognizable
offence is given orally, the police must write it down. It is a right of a person giving information
or making a complaint to demand that the information recorded by the police is read over to
them. Once the information has been recorded by the police, it must be signed by the person
giving Cognizable Offence. A cognizable offence is one in which the police may arrest a person
without warrant. They are authorized to start investigation into the cognizable case on their own
and do not require any orders from the Court to do so. Whereas, a non-cognizable offence is an
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offence in which a police officer has no authority to arrest without warrant. The police cannot
investigate such an offence without the Courts permission.
So many times, we hear that police refuses to accept an FIR unless pressurized by media or some
social or official or political authority. On one hand, the person is already suffering on the other
hand; police harasses him by not accepting the FIR. While not much may be done by the police
even if the FIR is lodged, but its lodging becomes a must for a person in cases of theft,
harassment and in case any other crime is committed against him. Not only police officials are
reluctant to accept the FIR, they discourage the person/persons from lodging the FIR. 4 But no
departmental action is yet taken against the police officials who fail to perform their duty.
Here is what a common man can do if the police do not accept his or her FIR5:

Talk to SHO6 of the concerned Police station and ask him to register FIR. Most probably
he will try to persuade people not to register FIR and instead ask them to write complaint
on a piece of paper. Police is bound to take action on FIR as they need to give
explanation of each & every FIR registered in a month to the district magistrate. No such
boundation exists for a complaint.

In case SHO does not register your FIR (which will be the usual case), he or she can meet
ACP7 or DCP8 of that zone.

In case approaching is not possible, a registered mail can be written to DCP with a copy
to ACP or district magistrate of that district with a copy of the complaint and asking for
an explanation that why your FIR was not registered?

There is a website of Delhi police where all the relevant persons of all DCPs, ACPs and
commissioner of Delhi police can be found to whom contact through email can be made.

Flying Squad of Vigilance Branch can also be contacted if nothing goes right.

Under the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, on the refusal of a Police Officer to
register the complaint, the person can send the complaint by Registered Post to the Deputy
4 Taken from www.giitsolutions.com Lodging of FIR as visited on April 22, 2012.
5 Available at www.rtiindia.org as visited on April 22, 2012.
6 Station House Officer
7 Assistant Commissioner of Police
8 Deputy Superintendent of Police
7

Commissioner of Police of that District under whose jurisdiction that Police Station falls. This is
provided under Section 154 (III) of Criminal Procedure Code. Said DCP is under duty to register
the FIR if it discloses the offence. In the event of failure on the part of either to register the
complaint, you can then file the complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate under Section 190
of the Code of Criminal Procedure.9The system requires a change in this regard. An action must
be taken against the police official who refuses to accept the FIR. Moreover, Lodging of the
same should be allowed through internet where an acknowledgment shall be generated
immediately as in case of payment of taxes on net. System needs to be designed in such a way
that it should not be possible to edit the FIR is lodged, nor should it be possible to change the
date and time of submission of FIR. Also, the system should forward it immediately to the
concerned police official for necessary action. 10
Police Misconduct
When we scrutinize the subject of police misconduct, particularly corruption and other forms of
police crime, we should be under no illusion as to the seriousness of the issues involved. These
impinge on fundamental abuses of the rule of law, due process and human rights. The severity of
the police crime, for instance, drug dealing, excessive violence, criminal collusion with
organized crime and politicians and murder and the high level of organization required to
articulate the offences, takes us beyond free meals, kick-backs and much conventional
bribery. It leads us to focus our attention on the context within which such deviant behavior takes
place. Many of the intricate processes underpinning these cases simply are not reected in much
of the standard literature.11 Often the accent in research on police deviance, integrity and
corruption is geared toward low-level deviance. The police themselves often employ the
rotten apple metaphor; the deviant cop who slips into bad ways and contaminates the other
essentially good officers; which is an individualistic, human failure model of deviance. When
more serious or prolonged forms of corruption are uncovered, the imagery tends to be of illness
and of contagion in a particular area or unit, with talk of cancer or pestilence. There is, then, an
implicit analogy that surgery can remove clinically the offending part in an otherwise healthy
body.12 Systems refers both to the formal system that is, the police organization, the criminal
justice system and the broader socio-political context and to the informal system of deals,

9 Available at www.giitsloutions.com Lodging of FIR as visited on April 22, 2012.


10 Ibid.
11 Taken from Policing and Society: An International Research for Journal and Policy, available at
www.tangfonline.com as visited on April 24, 2012.
12 Supra.
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inducements, collusion and understandings among deviant officers as to how the corruption is to
be organized, conducted and rationalized.13
Analysis of Police Misconduct through Cases: An Instance that can be adduced in this
regard
The Mathura Rape Case, Tukaram and Another v. State of Maharashtra, 1978
In the Mathura case, two policemen apparently raped a teenaged orphan named Mathura in the
police station they were attached to. The judgment, which was delivered by Justice Khosla,
caused so much outrage that it provided an incentive for the law to be amended.
Mathura was a girl who was said to have been raped. Her parents died when she was a child and
she was living with her brother, Gama. Both of them worked as labourers to earn a living.
Mathura used to go to the house of Nunshi for work and during the course of her visits to that
house, she came into contact with Ashok, who was the sisters son of Nunshi and was residing
with the latter. The contact developed into an intimacy; and Ashok and Mathura decided to
marry.
On March 26, 1972, Gama lodged a report at the Desai Gunj police station alleging that Mathura
had been kidnapped by Nunshi, her husband Laxman and Ashok. The report was recorded by
Head Constable Baburao at whose instance all the three persons complained against, as well as
Mathura, were brought to the police station at about 9 p.m. and who recorded the statements of
the two lovers. By then it was about 10.30 p.m. and Baburao told them to go after directing to
Gama bring a copy of the entry regarding the birth of Mathura recorded in the relevant register.
Baburao then left for his house. At that time the two appellants the accused policemen, Tukaram
and Ganpat were present at the police station.
After Baburao had gone away, Mathura, Nunshi, Gama and Ashok started leaving the police
station. The appellants, however, asked Mathura to wait at the police station and told her
companions to move out. The direction was complied with. Immediately thereafter, Ganpat took
Mathura into a latrine situated at the rear of the main building, loosened her underwear, lit a
torch and stared at her private parts. He then dragged her to a Chhapri which serves the main
building as its back verandah. In the Chhapri, he threw her on the ground and raped her in spite
of protests and stiff resistance on her part. He departed after satisfying his lust and then Tukaram,
the second appellant, who was seated on a cot nearby, came to the place where Mathura was and
fondled her private parts. He also wanted to rape her but was unable to do so because he was in a
highly intoxicated condition. Nunshi, Gama and Ashok, who had been waiting outside the police
station for Mathura, grew suspicious when they found the lights of the police station being turned
off and its entrance door being closed from within. They went to the rear of the police station in
order to find out what the matter was. No light was visible inside and when Nunshi shouted for
Mathura there was no response. The noise attracted a crowd and sometime later, Tukaram
13 Ibid.
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emerged from the rear of the police station and on an enquiry from Nunshi stated that the girl had
already left. He himself went out and shortly afterwards Mathura also emerged from the rear of
the police station and informed Nunshi and Gama that Ganpat had compelled her to undress
herself and had raped her. Nunshi took Mathura to Dr. Khume and the former told him that the
girl had been subjected to rape. The doctor told them to go to the police station and lodge a
report there.
Mathura was examined by Dr. Kamal Shastrakar at 8 p.m. on March 27, 1972. The girl had no
injury on her person. Her hymen revealed old ruptures. The vagina admitted two fingers
easily. There was no matting of the pubic hair. The age of the girl was estimated by the doctor to
be between 14 and 16 years. A sample of the pubic hair and two vaginal-smear slides were sent
by the doctor in a sealed packet to the Chemical Examiner who found no traces of semen therein.
The presence of semen was however detected on the girls clothes and the pyjama which was
taken off the person of Ganpat. The Learned Sessions Judge found that there was no satisfactory
evidence to prove that Mathura was below 16 years of age on the date of the occurrence. He
further held that she was a shocking liar whose testimony is riddled with falsehood and
improbabilities. But he observed that the farthest one can go into believing her and the
corroborative circumstances, would be the conclusion that while at the Police Station she had
sexual intercourse and that, in all probability, this was with an accused policemen. He added
however that there was a world of difference between sexual intercourse and repeal, and that
rape had not been proved in spite of the fact that the defense version which was a bare denial of
the allegations of rape, could not be accepted at its face value. He further observed: Finding
Nunshi angry and knowing that Nunshi would suspect something fishy, she (Mathura) could not
have very well admitted that of her own free will, she had surrendered her body to a Police
Constable. The crowd included her lover Ashok, and she had to sound virtuous before him.
Theres a possibility that she might have invented the story of having been confined at the Police
Station and raped by one of the accused policemen.
Mathura is habituated to sexual intercourse, as is clear from the testimony of Dr. Shastrakar and
one of the accused is no novice. He speaks of nightly discharges. This may be untrue, but there is
no reason to exclude the possibility of his having stained his Paijamal with semen while having
sexual intercourse with persons other than Mathura. The seminal stains on Mathura can be
similarly accounted for. She was, after all, living with Ashok and was very much in love with
him.
The High Court took note of the various findings arrived at by the Learned Sessions Judge and
then itself proceeded to sift through the evidence bearing in mind the principle that a reversal of
the acquittal would not be justified if the view taken by the Trial Court was reasonably possible,
even though the High Court was inclined to take a different view of the facts. The High Court
proceeded to observe that although the Learned Sessions Judge was right in saying that there was
a world of difference between sexual intercourse and rape, he erred in appreciating the difference
between consent and passive submission. In coming to the conclusion that the sexual intercourse
10

in question was forcible and amounted to rape, the High Court remarked:
Besides the circumstances that emerge from the oral evidence on the record, we have to see in
what situation Mathura was at the time. Both the accused were strangers to her. It is not the case
of the defense that Mathura knew either these accused or any of them since before the time of
occurrence. It is, therefore, indeed, highly improbable that Mathura on her part would make any
overtures or invite the accused to satisfy her sexual desire.
Indeed it is also not probable that a girl who was involved in a complaint filed by her brother
would make such overtures or advances. The initiative must, therefore, have come from the
accused and if such an initiative comes from the accused, indeed she could not have resisted the
same on account of the situation in which she had found herself especially on account of a
complaint filed by her brother against her which was pending enquiry at that very police station.
If these circumstances are taken into consideration it would be clear that the initiative for sexual
intercourse must have come from the accused or any of them and she had to submit without any
resistance. Mere passive or helpless surrender of the body and its resignation to the others Lust
induced by threats or fear cannot be equated with desire or will, nor can it furnish an answer by
the mere fact that the sexual act was not in opposition to such desire or volition. On the other
hand, taking advantage of the fact that Mathura was involved in a complaint filed by her brother
and that she was alone at the police station at the dead hour of night, it is more probable that the
initiative for satisfying the sexual desire must have proceeded from the accused, and that victim
Mathura must not have been a willing party to the act of the sexual intercourse. Her subsequent
conduct in making a statement immediately not only to her relatives but also to the members of
the crowd leaves no doubt that she was subjected to forcible sexual intercourse. In relation to
Tukaram, the High Court did not believe that he had made any attempt to rape the girl but took
her word for granted insofar as he was alleged to have fondled her private parts after the act of
sexual intercourse by Ganpat. It was in these premises that the High Court convicted and
sentenced the two appellants.
The Supreme Court held that: Her failure to appeal to her companions who were no others than
her brother, her aunt and her lover, and her conduct in meekly following Ganpat and allowing
him to have his way with her to the extent of satisfying his lust in full, makes us feel that the
consent in question was not a consent which could be brushed aside as passive submission.
Secondly, it has to be borne in mind that the onus is always on the prosecution to prove
affirmatively each ingredient of the offence it seeks to establish and that such onus never shifts.
The circumstantial evidence available, therefore, is not only capable of being construed in a way
different from that adopted by the High Court but actually derogates in no uncertain measure
from the inference drawn by it. In view of what we have said here, we conclude that the sexual
intercourse in question is not proved to amount to rape and that no offence is brought home to
Ganpat. The High Court itself has taken note of the fact that in the First Information Report the
girl had made against Tukaram serious allegations on which she had gone back at the trial and
the acts covered by which she attributed in her deposition to Ganpat instead. Those allegations
11

were that Tukaram who had caught hold of her in the first instance, had taken her to the latrine in
the rear of the main building, had lit a torch and had stared at her private parts in the torch-light.
Now if the girl could alter her position in regard to these serious allegations at will, where is the
assurance that her word is truthful in relation to what she now says about Tukaram? We do not,
therefore, propose to take the girl at her word in relation to Tukaram and hold that the charge
remains wholly unproved against him. The judgment of the High Court is reversed and the
conviction recorded against as well as the sentences imposed upon the appellants by it are set
aside.14
Thus, we see what! Police misconduct and nothing more than this. If the justice givers are
exploiting the public in such a way then what can we expect from the criminal justice system
prevailing in India. Let there be an increment in the methods of the investigation techniques, yet
there will be no progress in our system. And therefore, if progress of the system is hampered then
it is obvious that the development of the nation will be keep falling and India will remain a
developing nation.
The failure of Criminal Justice System
The public are unhappy not only with the police but with the functioning of other agencies of the
criminal justice system. Crime has registered an increase. For example, the total cognizable
crime registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) increased from only 6.25 lakhs in 1951 to
17.2 lakhs in 2003. The total cognizable crime in 2003 was about 55 lakhs, including 37.8 Lakh
offences registered under the local and special laws. When there is an upsurge in criminal
activities or a particularly heinous crime is committed, the public tend to blame the police. The
general tendency is to hold the police solely responsible for any increase in crime. This attitude is
reinforced by the manner in which the police react to public criticism. They either quote crime
statistics, which are not too impressive or point out inadequacies of manpower and equipment at
their disposal.15
Crime statistics in any case are not very reliable. A common complaint against the police is that
they do not register crime fully. Concealment or burking of crime is quite common. One major
reason for this is that police performance is evaluated on the basis of crime statistics. This
encourages the police to adopt questionable methods of recording and controlling crime and even
resorting to illegal acts. They suggested that incorrect registration of crime be adopted as one of
the measure to evaluate police performance. However whenever this is done, it leads to a

14Available at www.lawmatters.in as visited on April 24, 2012.


15 Available at
www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/aj/police/papers/gpj/police_accountability_in_india as visited
on April 27, 2012.
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tremendous increase in crime figures, resulting in an outcry in the press and the legislature and
causing considerable embarrassment to the government.16
The police revert again to the old evil of concealing crime by not registering it. This results in
denying access to justice to a large number of people, particularly those belonging to poor and
marginalized sections of society. When a large number of persons, after committing crimes, are
allowed to get away and justice is not meted out to victims or cases drag on in courts for many
numbers of years, it results in eroding the faith and confidence of the public in the effectiveness
of the system. More than an increase in crime, it is the failure of the system to deal promptly,
justly and effectively with those who commit it that has been responsible for the loss of faith and
confidence of the public in the effectiveness of the system. There has been a steep decline in the
conviction rate. While in 1971, the conviction rate of IPC offences that is, the total number of
cases convicted to total number of cases tried was 62%, by the year 2003, it had declined to
about 40%. Justice is being denied as well as delayed. The courts are clogged with huge arrears
of cases under trial.17
According to the 61st report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, 25
million cases were pending trial in different courts in the country. The citizens expect the State to
establish the rule of law and provide them freedom from crime and violence. The States failure
to do so gives rise to public fear of crime and criminals. Fear of crime feeds on itself and always
grows at a rate faster than crime. It is public fear of crime, which sometimes provides a license to
the police to ignore the law and deal with crime and criminals by using rough and illegal
methods. Blinding of criminals done by Bhagalpur Police way back in early eighties was one
example of such license. This has been followed by other incidents. Police deviance is bound to
increase whenever the fear of crime whips up the rhetoric of war against crime, criminals and
terrorists. What the public want is a feeling of security and are not always willing to question the
methods used by the police in achieving their success in the fight against crime and criminals.18
Criminalization of Politics
This is the most criticized part. Over the last few decades, there has been a large influx of
criminals into the Indian polity. The Election Commission of India estimated in the late 1990s
that 40 members of Parliament of India and 700 members of State Legislative Assemblies had
criminal records.19
16 Supra.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
13

As the nexus between the criminals and politicians becomes stronger, it is able to subvert the
loyalty of the functionaries at different levels in the government, including the police.
Criminalization of politics has gradually led to undermining the authority of the police leadership
and consequently the discipline of the force. The police are a hierarchical organization. If the
effectiveness of the leadership is undermined, the entire force becomes vulnerable to wrong
influences, with the functionaries at different levels looking elsewhere for protection and
rewards. Besides breeding indiscipline in the force, it promotes a climate in which impunity
flourishes. It ultimately shakes the confidence of the public in the police. Today we have a
police, which is politicized and politically polarized. For it has become a pawn in the hands of its
masters. In return, the policemen get political patronage, which has become essential for their
survival.20
Instances of Criminalization in Politics
Election Commission of India has recently in May 2009, conducted general elections for
15th Lok Sabha at 543 constituencies all over India. The following has been the status of
criminalization in Indian politics so far.21
Mr. Jagdish Sharma of JD [U] from Jahanabad constituency of Bihar topped the list of MPs with
maximum number of serious IPC charges against them. There are 17 serious IPC charges against
him. Gujarat is at top with contribution of 4 MPs in list of top 10 MPs with criminal background
in 15th Lok Sabha of India. Elections in many parts of the country have become associated with a
host of criminal activities. Threatening voters to vote for a particular candidate or physically
preventing voters from going to the polling booth especially weaker sections of society like
dalits, tribals and rural women, occurs frequently in several parts of the country.22
Since last 15 years, not a single election has conducted peacefully without use of money or
muscle power and domestic violence. Sometimes rival candidates got killed in a bid to have the
elections cancelled. All these acts of lawlessness and violence have become possible because of
the growing links between many politicians and criminal/anti-social elements. Mohammad
Sahabuddin; he was elected to four successive terms in the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) from
1996-2008 from Siwan constituency Bihar on RJD23 ticket. In 1996, Sahabuddin was named as a
Minister of State for the Home Ministry in the H.D. Deve Gowda government. He is currently
20 Supra.
21 Taken from Criminalization in Politics, available at www.iasaspirant.wordpress.com as visited on
April 27, 2012.
22 Ibid.

14

serving a life sentence for kidnapping with intent to murder and as many as 34 cases of serious
crime are pending against him. Mukhtar Ansari, he is commonly referred to as "the Sahabuddin
of UP." Mukhtar Ansari fought the U.P. State Elections, 2007, while lodged initially at Ghazipur
jail, Atiq Ahmad; in 2004-2009, he was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Phulpur (Lok
Sabha Constituency) in Uttar Pradesh. He is currently in prison facing trial in 35 criminal cases
including several cases of murder. In the Indian general elections, 2009, Atiq Ahmad was
allowed to run for election since he is yet to be convicted in any case, Shibhu Soren; he was
Chief Minister of Jharkhand state in India from 2008 to 2009. He previously represented the
Dumka constituency of Jharkhand in the 14th Lok Sabha and is the President of the Jharkhand
Mukti Morcha (JMM) political party, a constituent of the UPA24. He was member of Union
Cabinet since November 2006, till he resigned after conviction in a murder case. There is no end
of this list because it is expanding year after year. Recently during general elections for 15 th Lok
Sabha, Sanjay Dutt tried hard to ensure his place in the list on ticket of SP 25. Fortunately,
judiciary did not allow him to consent election.26
All these persons are involved in serious criminal cases like murder, robbery, kidnapping and
extortion and most of them in several cases of such nature. Keeping aside the issue whether they
should be allowed to contest polls or not, is it morally or ethically correct for persons who are
alleged to have been involved in criminal cases to contest polls and represent the people in the
house? What about the political parties of country which are providing ample opportunities to
criminals and harboring criminalization of politics by giving maximum possible tickets to them?
The answer would be in the negative only if morals and ethics have no place in politics. It would
indeed be a sad day for politics in India, if it is accepted that moral and ethics have no place in
politics in India. But fact remains a fact.27
Forensic Investigation

23 Rashtriya Janata Dal


24 United Progressive Alliance
25 Samajwadi Party
26. Taken from Criminalization in Politics, available at www.iasaspirant.wordpress.com as visited on
April 27, 2012.
27 Ibid.
15

A forensic investigation is the practice of lawfully establishing evidence and facts that are to be
presented in a court of law. The word forensic is derived from the Latin word forensis and means
of or before the forum. It was used as early as the Roman Empire when people accused of
crimes were brought before a public group and allowed to argue their case. In modern times, the
term is used for nearly all investigations, ranging from computer crimes to murders. When most
people think about a forensic investigation, they think about crime scene investigation, but there
are other forms of forensic investigation. The type of forensic investigation most people know
about revolves around violent crimes. Forensics used in these investigations can uncover
scientific evidence that may provide enough proof or evidence to convict a violent criminal, or to
disprove outdated evidence that could lead to the release of someone who was wrongly
convicted. The main kinds of evidence this form of forensic investigation yields are biological
or DNA evidence, such as blood spatter and hairs; impression evidence, like fingerprints and tire
tracks; and weapon identification, the microscopic examination of firearms and tools for the
purpose of matching weapons to wounds. After the evidence is carefully collected at the crime
scene, it is typically processed inside a crime lab. 28 Forensic investigation is increasingly playing
an important role in the pursuit of justice. But the use of forensic investigation is not the
straightforward endeavor that is portrayed in many television programs and other mass media
sources. Forensic investigation is very complex. Forensic investigation techniques, when used
appropriately, can be an incredible tool for practitioners and society. But used inappropriately,
forensic investigation techniques can generate error and injustice in the system. 29

Forensic Science today has shaped the world of justice, fuelling crime investigations and
signifying the progress of modern technology. Forensic Science of today covers modern
computer or clay facial reconstruction, DNA fingerprinting, autopsy techniques, forensic
anthropology, toxicology and much more. The developments in forensic science have likewise
introduced many vital crime solving techniques over the past few decades. Forensic Science
covers the different techniques used to analyze a variety of crimes.30
Forensic science provides answer to the following three questions:31
Has a crime been committed?
Considering the case of recovery of a dead body; Death could be natural accidental or
homicidal. Forensic Science by ascertaining the nature of death establishes the existence
or absence of corpus delicti.
28 Available at www.wisegeek.com as visited on April 27, 2012.
29 Available at www.utb.edu as visited on April 27, 2012.
30 Available at www.library.thinkquest.org as visited on April 27, 2012.
31 Forensic Sciences and Criminology by Wafi Aziz Safwi Available at
www.legalservicesindia.com as visited on May 1, 2012.Available at www.legalservicesindia.com as
visited on May 1, 2012.
16

How and when was the crime committed?


The examination of the corpus delicti reveals the way of the crime was committed and
possibly the time when it was committed.
Who committed the crime?
Forensic science establishes the identity of the culprit through personal clues like
fingerprints, footprints, blood drops or hair. It links the criminal with the crime through
objects left by him at the scene with the victim or carried from the scene and the victim.

On the other hand, if the clues recovered do not link the accused with the victim or the scene of
occurrence, the innocence of the accused is established. Forensic science, thus, helps the
innocent.
The application of Forensic Science in the investigation of crime can be effective only if the
investigating officer knows:32
The nature of physical evidence to be collected.
Where it is found?
How it is collected and packed?
What standard samples for comparison purposes are necessary?
How much sample is required?
How the sampling is done?
How the evidence will link the crime with the criminal and to what extend his labors will
be rewarded by the laboratory results?
This is possible if the investigating officer is given a thorough grounding in the above aspects.
He needs both theoretical and practical training. All police training institutions have courses in
scientific aids, but the syllabi and the teaching standards are far from satisfactory. Periodical
attachment of investigating officers to the departmental forensic science laboratories can go a
long way in inculcating the scientific spirit. Ignorance about the value of evidence sometimes
causes a lot of disappointment to an investigating officer. For example, hair is recovered in quite
a few cases. Evaluation of hair does not lead to positive identification of the source of hair. It is
not possible at the present stage of development of the science. They would not be disappointed,
if they know the limitations.
Diverse Scenarios33
1. A criminal while running away from the scene if occurrence brushes against a painted surface.
Some powdered particles of paint get deposited upon his clothes. The investigating officer scraps
a few grams of paint from the same surface with a pen-knife and sends it as control sample. The
result of the analysis shows that the two paints do not match. Why?
2. A small amount of dust is recovered from a small sticky patch of the shoe of a culprit. The
investigating officer collects about two kilograms of soil from the scene packs it in tin and sends
it as a control sample. The results of comparison are inconclusive. Why?
32 Forensic Sciences and Criminology by Wafi Aziz Safwi Available at
www.legalservicesindia.com as visited on May 1, 2012.
33 Ibid.
17

3. In a rape case, the investigating officer collects the clothes of the victim. The clothe carry both
blood and semen stains. The investigating officer dries the clothes and packs them together and
sends them through a railway parcel. He wants to know if the clothes carry semen stains, and if
so, to which blood group does the secretor belong?
The expert establishes the existence of semen but fails to give its blood grouping; because he
finds powdered blood sticking to semen stain. Facts do not lie, men can and do, hence the
importance of circumstantial evidence vis--vis oral evidence. The oral testimony depends upon
the power of observation, assimilation and reproduction of the witness. It is modified by auto
suggestion, external influence, suggestions, descriptions and opinions of others and rationality.
Oral evidence, therefore, is colored whereas factual evidence is free from these infirmities.
The facts can be created34
1. A person is killed in an accident firing. The relatives want to implicate their opponents. They
procure an unlicensed firearm, fire a cartridge, place at the scene and plant the firearm on the
opponent. The police recover the shell and the firearm. The shell is married to the firearm. The
police prosecute the person.
2. A person is in the armed forces. He is seen carrying out duty up to 1:00 am in the unit. He slips
through the guarded premises, goes about a hundred miles, and commits a murder, returns to his
unit, enters into the guarded premises secretly and is present on his duty at 7:30 am. By
circumstantial evidence he proves his presence in the unit throughout the night.
3. A threatens B with death. The next day B is found murdered. B had no other enemies except A.
Police suspects A as the murderer. He is not found anywhere. He is declared a proclaimed
offender. Soon after A appears before a magistrate and says he had gone on a pilgrimage. But
checking at the allegedly visited places, his visits to the places are not established. He is arrested
and prosecuted. In defense, he produces the jail record. He was behind the bars at the relevant
time. He escapes sentence.
Forensic Science and Criminal Prosecution35
(I)
Scene of Occurrence
A scene of occurrence is the meeting place of the persons involved. The parties exchange traces
with one another and with the scene, leave odds and ends and mark of tools, wearing apparels,
means of transport, hands and feet. Thus, the scene of occurrence provides a wealth of
information which is useful to:
Establish corpus delicti
Provide link between the criminal, the victim and the scene of occurrence; and
Evaluate the pattern of events.
The scene is of great importance in almost all crimes except perhaps in cases of forgery where
the utility is limited. The examination of the scene needs planning, care and diligence. In many
cases the success or failure of the investigation depends entirely upon the proper handling of the
scene. The scene of occurrence changes rapidly and cannot be preserved forever. Some of the
evidence gets lost soon after the occurrence; the other evidence disappears, gets contaminated or

34 Forensic Sciences and Criminology by Wafi Aziz Safwi Available at


www.legalservicesindia.com as visited on May 1, 2012.
35 Ibid.
18

altered with further passage of time. The opportunity to examine the scene is available only once.
If the same is not fully exploited the wealth of information is lost forever.
Cases
Raghunandan v State. Of U.P., 1974 Cri. L. J. 453 (S.C)
In the above case both the trial court as well as the High Court had brushed aside the
objection that the blood recovered from the place of occurrence was not sent for chemical
examination. The failure of the police to send the blood for chemical examination is a serious
case of murder. In such a case the place of occurrence is often disputed.
Marachalil Chandra Tukaram Talekar v State of Gujarat. 1980 Cri. L.J.5 (Guj)
It was argued with great vehemence in the High Court as well as in the court of sessions
that there was trial of blood from the front door of the house of the vakil into the corridor
rooms marked H and H-1 in the plan and that supported the defense theory that the
deceased Kannan received the stab injuries not in or near the house in question but
somewhere far away near the railway station. The High Court took the view that if
Kannan had received the injuries somewhere outside the house it was impossible for him
to have come into the room in view of the doctors evidence. It was concluded on the
material placed on the record that there could be no room for doubt that Kannan received
the injuries in the room itself and not outside, and that he was carried out of the room
while life was still lingering and therefore, there would be dripping of the blood from the
body during the course of transit as the injuries were very serious and vital arteries had
been cut.
(II)
Fingerprints
The identification of criminals through fingerprints was the first important breakthrough in the scientific investigation of crime. As usual, the judiciary and the public
took some time to believe in the utility of fingerprints as a scientific aid. The same is
now recognized throughout the world.
The importance of fingerprints in criminal investigation is immense, because they are:
Unique
Ridge pattern of each finger has individuality. The patterns vary not only from one
individual to another, but they are different in the same individual on each finger.
Duplication of pattern has never been observed. Nor the same is expected.
Permanent
The fingerprints of an individual do not change throughout his life. In fact, the ridges
appear before birth. They start appearing during third or fourth month of pregnancy. They
remain even after the death of the individual ever till the epidermal skin is destroyed by
fire, putrefaction or is eaten by insects or other creatures.
In a murder case the body of the victim was partially burnt and buried. The same was discovered
many days after the murder. The body was completely disfigured and could not be identified.
The investigating officer got removed the remaining skin pieces from the tips of the fingers
through a doctor. He sent them to fingerprint bureau alongwith the one authentic print of the
deceased available on his will. The bureau confirmed the identity of the deceased. The digital
skin pieces were recovered and sent to the finger print bureau. The fingerprints of the deceased
tallied with the fingerprints of the convict , available in the records, The permanence of
fingerprints permits identification of an individual even after many years, if his finger print
record is available. Many criminals have been identified through this medium after years of
absconding.
19

Universal
All individuals and hence all criminals carry this medium of identification. The finger
digits and surface of the hands carry the friction ridges. The fingers have more intricate
patterns. They allow easier individualization and classification.
A criminal uses his hands in the commission of crime. He leaves marks at the scene of
occurrence or on the objects which come in contact in the commission of crime. There are fair
chances of occurrence of fingerprints , therefore in all types of crime.
Inimitable
Successful forgery of fingerprints has not been reported so far. Near perfect forgeries
have been attempted. It is possible that the advancement of science may bring the forgery
still closer to perfection but complete success in the enterprise is extremely difficult ,if
not impossible.
For all practical purposes it may be taken that it is not possible to forge a fingerprint. This is
important because no person can deny his or her fingerprints. The identification through
fingerprints is certain and infallible.
Classifiable
The scope for classification of fingerprints is large and yet the work is simple. Records of
millions of persons can be classified and kept on microfilms. Computerization of
fingerprint record, and hence searches are becoming popular and is increasing the
efficiency. A search can be made virtually in seconds with the help of these devices.
Cases
Hatendra Nath Sen v Emperor.
Sufficient Evidence
The question was raised before the sessions Judge as to whether a conviction can be based upon
the unsupported testimony of a fingerprint expert. There is no rule of law on the point; it is
merely a matter of caution whether a court will act on such unsupported evidence or not. The
correct principle was defined by S.K. Ghose, J. I do not think that it can be laid down as a rule
of law that it is unsafe to base a conviction on the uncorroborated testimony of a fingerprint
expert. The true rule seems to me to be one of caution that is to say, the court must not take the
experts opinion for granted, but it must examine his evidence in order to satisfy itself that there
can be no mistake and the responsibility is all the greater when there is no other evidence to
corroborate the expert
Uncorroborated Evidence
Bazari Hajam v King Emperor (AIR 1922 Pat.73:23 Cr. L.J 638)
The question arose whether it will be safe to act on the uncorroborated testimony of the
fingerprints and declare the guilt of the accused. On this point Bucknill, J., observed thus: I
think that apart from the fact that I should be rather sorry without any corroborative
circumstances to convict a person of a serious crime solely and entirely upon similarity of thumb
marks or finger prints, the very fact of the taking of a thumb-impression from an accused person
for the purpose of possible manufacture of the evidence by which he could be incriminated is in
itself sufficient to warrant one in setting aside the conviction upon the understanding and upon
the assumption that such was not really a fair trial.
The above view was disapproved of by Schwabe, C.J. in Public Prosecutor v Kandasami
Thevan (AIR 1927 Mad. 696:27 Cr. L. J 1251) although the point did not directly arise in the
case as there were thumb-impressions of the accused in evidence other than that taken by the
20

judge in court for comparison with the thumb-impressions in the document alleged to have been
forged.
(III) Track Marks
The culprit approaches, stays and then leaves the scene of occurrence. He leaves track
marks on and around the place in the form of prints and impressions( collectively
called marks) of feet, shoes, tyres, hoofs and the like. The evidence often connects
the criminal with the crime conclusively. It should, therefore be properly understood,
collected, evaluated and presented in the courts.
The track marks establish not only the presence of the culprit at the scene of crime but also give
the number of participants. The evidence is helpful in tracking down the criminals to their houses
or hide-outs, especially in India where most of the people live in rural areas. The roads in the
country side are not metalled. Besides, the criminal, ordinarily, follows untraded routes; fields,
garden and stream beds. He leaves track marks on routes used before and after the commission
of the crime. The nature of the vehicle used in the commission of crime wether it is a cycle,
scooter, car, bus, truck, tractor, rickshaw, bullock cart or a buggie can be ascertained. It is
sometimes possible to identify the individual vehicle also.In some cases animals are involved in
crimes sometimes. For example , a horse or a camel may be used for transport ; a cow , a buffalo
or a bullock may be stolen or a dog or a tamed wild best , like a snake or a tiger may be used to
destroy or kill a human-being or a domestic animal. The type of the animal or the beast can be
found out from the track marks. Foot Wear marks includes the marks of shoes, sandals, chappals,
socks and the like. The footwear may be factory- made or hand made.
Cases
Rejecting the contention that the study of footprints is not a science in Din Muhammad v
Emperor, Central Provinces Police Gazette dated 27th May, 1914 pp. 125-130, the court of
the Judicial Commissioner at Nagpur (H.J. Stanyon and H.F. Halifax, A.J. Cs ) as far back as in
1914 held: The knowledge of footprints has similarly been systematized and pursued by
trackers , mainly uncivilized and ignorant people an all other respects, all over the world . The
matter is therefore undoubtedly a science and the opinion of a person specially skilled in it is a
relevant fact, under Sec-45 of the Evidence Act
In Re Paramban Manmmadhu, which is a bench decision of that court, delivered by Horwill, J
(Supra) the learned judge held that opinion of a foot print expert is not admissible as evidence.
In the case of Pritam Singh v State of Punjab (AIR 1956 S.C. 415) there is an observation to
the effect that the science of identification by footprints is a rudimentary science and much
reliance cannot be placed on the result of such identification.
Poisoning
The investigation of cases of poisoning is one of the most difficult tasks. The quantity of a
poison required to kill a victim is extremely small in some cases. For example, the fatal dose of
nicotine is about 50 milligrams.
The investigation is further complicated by the variety of poisons available. The ever-increasing
number of synthetic drugs which are used as poisons is further adding to the complications.
Some drugs are very close to one another in their chemical and physiological behaviours. Their
identification requires the most fined analytical techniques.
Body materials in which the poisons are found is a complex mixture of organic, inorganic and
biological substances. They interfere in the isolation, detection and estimation of the poisons. In
fact the most difficult task of a toxicologist is to isolate the poison in pure form. Once it is done,
it is comparatively easier to identify and estimate the quantity.
21

Cases
The essential ingredients in a case of poisoning are no longer in doubt. The matter is
concluded by a series of Supreme Court decisions. In Anant Chintaman Lagu v State
of Bombay (AIR. 1960 S.C. 500), their lordships pronounced that the prosecution
establish three propositions in a case of poisoning:
i)
Death took place by poisoning;
ii)
Accused had the poison in his possession; and
iii)
Accused had the opportunity to administer poison to the deceased.
In Emperor v Shetya Timma (AIR 1926 Bom. 518), the death was caused by Dhatura
poisoning. After review of conflicting decisions on the point, their lordships held that
where the accused administered Dhatura poison to five men in order to facilitate
commission of robbery and in consequence thereof three men died, the accused must be
presumed to have knowledge that their act was so dangerous that it was likely to set
aside. The same view was taken in Emperor v Chattarpal (AIR 1930 Oudh 502).
The lack of understanding and critical appraisal of specialists in general, by non- specialists,
is all- pervasive. The field of Forensic Science is no exception. Neither the police, nor the
lawyer, nor even the judge appreciates fully the advances or the extensive potentialities of the
science.
Forensic Science: Legal Applications

Forensic Legal Application means the application of forensic science for the purpose of law. It
explains the search of truth and justice through forensic science. It is particularly used in the
criminal investigation, paternity disputes and other related cases. The application of science and
technology to the detection and investigation of crime and administration of justice is not new to
India. Although our ancestors did not know forensic science in its present form, scientific
methods in one way or the other seem to have been followed in the investigation of crime.
Criminalities in the application of various sciences to answer questions relating to examination
and comparison of biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence such as fingerprints,
footprint impressions and tire tracks; controlled substances, firearms and other evidence in
criminal investigations. Typically, evidence is processed in a crime lab. This is the division of
forensic science most often reported in the media and depicted in popular fiction. In other words,
forensic evidence means the use of one or more of forensic sciences for the purpose of law or for
Criminal Justice System. 36

Most importantly, the point that needs to be discussed is the application of forensic sciences in
India in the investigation of crimes.
36 Forensic Science in India and the world, Deepak Ratan and Mohd. Hasan Zaidi, Alia Law
Agency 2008.
22

Forensic Science laboratories in India: Developments

In India, earlier there were only Fingerprints Bureau under the State CID (Criminal Investigation
Department) which provided for examination of finger printings, footprints and documentary
evidences. Chemical scientists associated with police department mainly performed blood test
and test of viscera. Sometimes, the evidences collected by such methods fail to give any clue to
the offender and the need was felt for setting up Forensic laboratories during the middle of
twentieth century. Initially due to slow process, the progress in that regard was very slow and
there was lack of systematic development. State Governments set up Forensic Laboratories by
restructuring their chemical laboratories.

Necessity of application of Forensic Science

In criminal investigation, use of forensic science is the need of the modern times. In India, the
investigation of crime and prosecution of persons having committed the crime are not up to the
mark. Even in heinous crimes large number of criminals could not be prosecuted and a few
percentage of trials end in acquittal as a result of which number of criminals and crimes are
increasing day- to- day. These frequent acquittals are mainly due to obsolete techniques of
investigation which leave many loopholes. Thus, for effective investigation scientific ways of
investigation is not necessary. The third degree methods used by the investigating agencies in
British period are not accepted by the new generation of Criminal Investigating Agencies, judges
and public at large. Third degree methods for making confession have not completely vanished
but their misuse has increased and to control over this issue, the Human Rights Commissions has
been established in India and all over the world. Hence, modern scientific methods for
investigation of crimes and connecting the criminals with the overt acts are very much necessary
in order to make effective the Criminal Justice System.37

37 Forensic Science in India and the world, Deepak Ratan and Mohd. Hasan Zaidi, Alia Law
Agency 2008.
23

Thus, we see that even the forensics is not so well developed. This is obviously hampering the
enhancement of the investigation system in India. Steps need to be taken for providing assistance
to the crime victims by improving the methods of investigation.

Assistance to crime victims in India38


The analysis of the existing legal provisions in India for providing justice to victims of crime
shows that there is a long way to go. The experiences at the international level, including the
experience of the United States show that there is a lot needs to be done at the macro level. But
at the micro level certain immediate and possible measures may be taken to help the victims of
crime in India. Therefore, the first priority in the whole scheme of things is an all round
sensitization of everyone concerned. The natural sequence of rendering meaningful justice, social
and legal should proceed as follows:
Fair, considerate and sympathetic treatment by the police, hospitals, welfare
organizations, prosecution and courts;
Prompt restitution/compensation to the victim for the injury or loss suffered by
using the existing provisions; and
Security to victims and potential victims against victimization in future.
The various assistance and services to victims during crime investigation include the following:
The first step in assisting the crime victim is:
to facilitate their access to services that already exists ; and
to get redressed from the impact of crime
The police could improve their support for crime victims by ensuring the responding
officer to provide the victim with a card that identifies key telephone numbers of
organizations available in the community.
The card should also contain:
The file number (crime number) of the case;
The name of the officer investigating the case; and
The phone number to contact regarding enquires about the progress of the case.
A victims support unit should be located in the police department, preferably at the sub
divisional level to co-ordinate matters relating to crime victims.
If the above stated steps are implemented by the law enforcement agencies in India, the position
of victims in the criminal justice system will be improved substantially.

38 Victims and Criminal Justice System in India: Need for a Paradigm Shift in the Justice System
Available at www.doiserbia.nb.rs as visited on May 1, 2012.
24

Crime Scenario in India39


Sl.no

Year

Number of offences

IPC
1

SLL

Ratio
IPC:SLL

Rate per
(1, 00, 000
population)

Total

2001
17,69,308

35,75,230

53,44,538

1:1.02

520.4

2002

17,80,330

37,46,198

55,26,528

1:2.10

526.0

2003

17,16,120

37,78,694

54,94,814

1:2.20

514.4

2004

18,32,015

41,96,766

60,28,781

1:2.30

555.3

2005

18,22,602

32,03,735

50,26,337

1:1.76

455.8

Data showing cognizable crimes registered in India during 2001-2005


IPC: Indian Penal Code
SLL: Special and Local Laws
Source: National Crime Records Bureau

39 Victims and Criminal Justice System in India: Need for a Paradigm Shift in the Justice System
Available at www.doiserbia.nb.rs as visited on May 1, 2012.
25