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A Hand Invincibly Indispensable

Over the years criminal justice administration has taken various rides across the tides of time to unleash and reach the justice rendering mechanism in its best possible way to meet the remedy. Evidence in such course of proceeding stands indefatigable. Experts opinion in connexion to it, works as an instrument to complete justice.

The phenomena stand in the course of proceeding is not a recent discovery. Before 1553 in the case of Buckley v. Rich Thomas[1] it was contended in acceptance of expert's evidence that if matter raises concerning to some other faculties and sciences then aid in respect to that subject would be taken and in doing so it was said that we are not dismissing other sciences but of our own law but still it is a matter of worthy commendation.

It does have its existence from the pages of history. In the Alexandria's period two persons named, Eracis and Heropelus were inducted to conduct a postmortem. Indian soil had also witnessed the exercise of the experts in unraveling the guilt behind the offence. Kautilya's work had said about the idea of having fingerprints in the early years of history when people often used to be illiterate and in their transactions they had to often make the signatures.

Through times civilizations has advanced and technology has grasped every corners of lives. Educational value though has increased in terms of degrees but moral values are in lacunae to trace with. Therefore guilty mindset has evolved to be a powerful weapon clubbing with education, crimes in extant to which has become an innovative adventurism to commit. Need of experts is therefore the chase of time to whack down the technologically driven criminals. The present article is mooted with such vibrancy of increasing demand of experts in the criminal justice administration.

Evidence of one fact is said to be effective of the other when one fact could make the other fact probable in its existence. The intensity and the credibility that exist in causing the other fact probable called its probative force.

The rationale that causes the inference to drop conclusively rests upon the fact so evidenced. If the fact so evidenced raises the probability of the fact so questioned then the evidence constituting the fact would become the proof.[2]

Reckoning the past opinions of the expert is considered in acknowledging the reasons behind the crime. It is often being found that on reading the crime the court has taken the assistance of the experts so found to be connecting with the case. Where an air crash has taken place or a ship has been wrecked down, upon understanding the cause behind the happening of the incident assistance of the experts are taken. Sec 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 concerned with the experts opinion.[3]

On reading the section the field in relation to which expert's opinion could be taken is declared specifically. Foreign law, science, art, handwriting identification, finger impressions are the prescribed field for calling the experts in play. In a whole the Acts that cover the expert's opinion are the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, sections (sec53, 53A and 293A), Identification of Prisoners Act, Indian Evidence Act, 1872, sections (45-60, 73 and 112).

Expert as Evidence

J. CHINNAPPA REDDY's observation in the landmark case of Murarilal v. State of M.P where on upholding conviction of the murderer to life imprisonment solely on testimony of the expert given on identification of the handwriting left by the murderer in the room of the deceased person in respect of the question of corroborative nature of expert opinion rest upon the saying that justification of the corroborative nature of the expert evidence stands high on the fact that an expert is also a human being fallible in nature but an expert's credibility seasoned with sound reasons would aid the judge in reasoning the conclusion with far more perfection. More developed the science is, less is the chance of giving an incorrect opinion. Therefore, in each and every case claiming for corroboration of the expert's evidence is not an invariable rule to be followed subject to condition that such opinion is backed by some sound reasons.[4]

Relying on such saying when today civilization has reached its zenith of advancement, every crime encumbered with advancement and technologically dipped, professionals and experts are the persons standing to be the men of dexterities in hands aiding towards unmasking the criminals in veil. Globalization has today reached to an extent of advancing crimes along with rendering fast life to the world at large. Not necessary that the rate and proportionality of crimes occurs in the same manner across the countries at large but the transnational interest of the nations hits with severity before the roots of the crime can be traced. The crimes that are flagging high are terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, child pornography followed by cyber crime, sexual exploitation, environmental crime and trafficking in property along with piracy.

The reasons for such kind of crimes are becoming rampant and gaining force in spreading are poverty, weak law and technological advancement. More than one billion people are today connected with internet. Easy access and easy floating of information makes the ill doers rapid in their action. In such threat the health sector is also succumbing in the affairs of medicine fraudulency.[5]

Heisenberg rightly said that an expert is a person who has knowledge worst of the mistakes he can made in his subject and he still avoid in managing it. Credibility of an expert rest upon the opinion given by the person called for in respect of the subject referred to. There is a difference in this regard rest with, expert and the fact finder. An expert is not a fact finder, but often from the experience it could be seen that an expert called for to frame an opinion certainly overrides the limit and interfere into the judicial parlance. Such person thereby ends up by saying that the person standing before the court is a real culprit. The standard of reliability hangs therefore with the measure of creditability it has. England got its view correct in this approach.

Post to the Turners case, English court comes up with a decision regarding admissibility of the scientific evidence. Anything therefore proffered as scientific evidence before the court is not welcomed unless the matter in issue completely alien to the judge and the jury. Law commission in its report recommended for reliability as a standard to be considered for admissibility of the scientific evidence. India in such stand is flexible in position. Works of a judge completes in calling the expert when the matter in issue or question relating to such supposed to be within the ambit of section 45 of the Evidence Act 1872. Trial judges are therefore free in their discretion to call for the expert evidence, whenever fact in issue in hand found to be enough competent to have an urge for such call.

Though in many of the cases Supreme Court and High Courts of India has referred Daubert level of scrutiny but it has failed in prescribing the actual standard to be met while considering the expert evidence.
America in face of it stands uniquely in setting a standard for admissibility of the expert opinion. The standard unveiled in the Frye case, the traditional standard to be adapted for admissibility of the evidence given by expert. The process of cumulating expert opinion led in setting the standard of acceptability.

The judiciary therefore met up with a bottom line of considering the expert opinion in determining issue in course. In course of time American judiciary met up with the Daubert test brought in force especially in the federal courts. Supreme Court of America explicitly states the role of the trial courts judges as a gate-keeper in considering the admissibility of the expert evidence and they are not limited to only evaluating scientific evidence in its relevance but their role get extended also in causing reliability of the evidence. Later through the Joiner case, the Supreme Court clarified that the error committed by the trial courts in evaluating scientific evidence to be rectified by the higher courts.

Where credibility stands to be a constant challenge for considering expert evidence, biasness is the other avenue for expert evidence to count with. It has often being found that the expert being called upon evaluates in cocking towards the party brought him. Abhaya case to be considered in the light of experts opinion found to be biased where two forensic chemical analyst cause manipulation in the report saying that no semen was found in the sample, when semen was actually found in the sample. Facts like such reflect serious death blows to the credibility of the expert evidence being given in trial in reliability of which course of justice is being unravelled.[6]

India in its context

India in letting its legs go dipping across the move of digitalization, technological advancement is something is inevitable before it. Every taste of globalization stays in touch of this soil. In face of the world the country is one among the countries counted to be in the race of super powers. Advancement doesn't make the society void of the miscreants. It is constant and random standing against the good like a shadow of eclipse. Crime therefore in times of advancement has also become a matter of persuasion. Intellect of the offenders often found to be cramming with the technologies. Experts in terms of that is flagging demanding. Over the years rate of cyber crimes in India has escalated 300 times.

It has doubled in the year 2017 as per as National Crime Record Bureau report is concerned on 22nd October. Most of the crimes involved with fraud, sexual exploitation and disrepute. Enforcement of the Information Technology Act in the year 2000 puts forth an endeavour in curbing down the crimes. Advancement in pursuance to such has been made by implementing cyber cell in every police station consisting with cyber officers in order to track the offenders in veil.[7] Bangalore stands to be the cyber crime capital in India. In the year 2018 most number of cyber crimes offences were reported, a whooping rise of 5035 cases in a lone city had witnessed.[8]

India in combating securely the present suffering of the time lacks in its compatibility and reason for its being lies with the stubby advancement of the police stations with technologies and other advanced equipments. Often it is found to be slow in its process in chasing and tracing the root of the problem. Endeavour in making the pockets of action much more competent is the challenge of the time.

Rising of the experts is the present syndrome of time when course of justice is becoming much more scientific in action. The point of credibility and unbiasedness is the balance of convenience and inconvenience requires to be sought forth to unravel justice. The genesis therefore lies upon the utmost credibility of the judges dealing with the cases and unlike American saying to act like a gate-keeper the work is to involve into the quest of sundry and unveil the truth itself.

  1. Murarilal v. State of M.P., A.I.R. 1980 S.C. 531.
  2. Salmond on Jurisprudence, PJ Fitzgerald, SWEET & MAXWELL, South Asian Edition, Twelfth Edition, pg 128.
  3. Principles of The Law of Evidence, Dr. Avatar Singh, Central Law Publications, Nineteenth Edition, 2011, pg 253.
  4. Murarilal v. State of M.P., A.I.R. 1980 S.C. 531.
  5. New and Emerging Forms of Crime: Threats The World Must Reckon With,13th United Nations Congress On Crime Prevention And Criminal Justice Doha (APR. 12-19, 2015), 2015/pdf/Factsheet_5_Emerging_forms_of_crime_EN.pdf
  6. Scientific Expert Evidence, Determining probative value and admissibility in the courtroom, V.R Dinkar, Second Edition, Eastern Law House, pg,1-9.
  7. Nishtha Vishwakarma, Cybercrime cases double in 2017, 56% cybercrime cases for fraud motive: NCRB 2017 Report, Medianama (Oct. 25, 2019),
  8. Tushar Kaushik, Bengaluru is India's cybercrime capital, The Economic Times (Feb. 1, 2019, 7:15 PM), https :// .cms

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