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Murder Case Investigation Guidelines

In Our Country Normally Murders Are Committed By:
  1. Sharp or blunt weapons, firearms, or explosives.
  2. Strangulation, throttling, or smothering.
  3. Poisoning.
  4. Burning.
In any type of murder, the points to be kept in view while inspecting the scene of crime are: (a)the dead body and its condition; (b) time of death; and (c) the manner in which death has been caused.

While investigating a murder case, the following points should be kept in mind:
  • Ascertain the identity of the deceased, sex, age, build, colour of hair and eyes, clothing, name and residence.
  • The process of identifying an unidentified deceased person begins with an evaluation of distinctive characteristics, including clothing and tattoos. Utilizing databases for fingerprint comparison and examining dental records are helpful in determining identification. DNA analysis provides definitive results. Further insight can be gained through forensic examination. Searching through missing persons reports and public appeals may lead to a match. Cooperation with appropriate organizations and international databases can improve the search process. In cases of decomposition, anthropological examination can be beneficial. Once identified, it is important to inform the next of kin for closure.
  • The injuries on the dead body should be closely examined and described with location, dimension and appearance. The defence wounds, if any, should be distinguished and note made. Careful examination of the injuries would indicate the weapon.
  • Post mortem examination of the dead body should be arranged and if required the viscera should be sent to the forensic science laboratory for examining and ascertaining the exact cause of death with the help of post mortem report and viscera report.
  • Sometimes it is possible that the accused has left the weapon in the surroundings of the scene of crime. Search for the weapon of offence carefully; determine whether it could be the same weapon used in the commission of offence. The weapon should be seized in presence of witnesses and seized weapon of offence should immediately be sent to the expert in a forensic science laboratory through the concerned court after proper sealing and labelling. It should be ensured that there is no contamination of the seized weapon and the chain of custody is intact without any break.
  • Note the pool of bloodstains at the scene, lift them separately with control and preserve and get them all examined. One of the bloodstains may be of the assailant. The blood stains at the scenes may be lifted and packed in separate containers indicating the place from where they were taken and FSL should be requested to indicate the blood group of each stain. It is possible that there might have been a struggle between the accused and the victim. At times the watch of the victim damaged in the struggle may stop and may indicate the time of offence. The sample earth along with the control earth seized from the scene of crime should also be sent for forensic examination at the FSL to fix up the place of occurrence or for trace evidence.
  • Examine whether the house is ransacked for any valuable or is undisturbed.
  • Fingerprints and footprints of the deceased should be obtained for identification and elimination purpose. Chance prints may be of the accused and lifted for examination.
  • In case dismembered parts of the body are found at different places, finger prints, footprints, dental work, signs of disease, scar and tattoo marks should be noted and photographed for identification. Wrapped material, if any, should be preserved for tracing the original and other clues.
  • If the victim is a woman get her examined by a lady Medical Officer or some other woman.
  • Motive of murder should be ascertained after talking to the victim's associates, relatives, friends, business partners, political rivals, paramour, neighbours, etc.
  • If the victim is alive immediate action should be taken for his treatment.
  • All the exhibits and clues should be taken into custody with proper seizure list having individual label. These should be packed and sealed properly. The chain of evidence in the movement of the exhibits from the place of occurrence to the police station to the forensic science laboratory and then to the court should be maintained and remain unbroken.
  • Photograph of the dead body, weapon of offence, injuries, pool of blood, entrance, exit and overall view of the scene of crime should be taken from different angles. Negative of the photograph should be preserved and atmospheric condition at the time of taking photograph noted. The photographer should also be examined and name of the film and also camera should be noted.
  • Rough sketch map of the Place of Occurrence (P.O.) should be drawn.
  • Both sample blood and control blood should be sent for FSL examination.
  • Where the dead body is lying should be marked with chalk or charcoal.
  • Description of corpse, injuries and wearing apparels should be noted in inquest report. Full name, address and signature of at least two witnesses should be present on the inquest report. If no public witness is found reason for the same should be noted in case diary.
  • Police dog may be used in case of recovery of any article belonging to the accused or to find out the way of retreat of the accused.
  • Suspect if any may be taken on police remand for collection of evidence and recovery of weapon of offence.
  • Seizure and other witnesses should be examined under Section 161 CrPC.
  • The statement of any eye witness may be recorded under Section 164 CrPC.
  • CCTV cameras near the scene of crime should be scanned to find out any clue about the crime and the accused persons.
  • Mobile phone of the victim should be seized and scanned for any clue.
  • CDR of the mobile phones of the suspects and victim may be analysed. The process of CDR (Call Detail Record) analysis involves extracting valuable insights from electronic records that capture the specifics of calls made and received on a telecommunications network. These records contain information such as caller and recipient numbers, call duration, timestamps, and call locations.
  • The process of conducting a call dump analysis requires a comprehensive review and understanding of call detail records (CDRs) in order to extract valuable information related to telecommunications usage. By carefully examining data such as caller and recipient numbers, call lengths, timestamps, and other metadata, analysts can uncover patterns, irregularities, and shifts within the network.
  • Forensic experts recreate the crime scene to gain insight into the circumstances of the crime. They scrutinize physical evidence like bullet casings, blood spatter patterns, and other ballistic evidence to piece together the events leading up to the murder, as well as the movements of the victim and perpetrator.
  • There should not be any unnecessary delay in the investigation and disposal of the case and submission of charge sheet or final report to the court.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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