To maintain the transparency in evidence collection by the way to achieve
just from unjust, scientific and forensic vigour helps the investigation since
we developed our strategy and techniques of medico-legal care for
survivors/victims. As we follow the maxim which based on Blackstone's
Formulation (commonly known as Blackstone Ratio) that It is better that ten
guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffers
It was expressed by the
English Jurist William Blackstone; this is the guiding principle behind rules
and procedure for courts. Due to this principle victim and accused are fairly
entitled to get transparent and well observed criminal trails, because
transparency in evidence proceeding builds trust in justice system.
Lockard's Exchange Principle
, the bastion of forensic sciences, says that the accused of
crime will carry something into the crime scene and leave with something from
it, and that both can be utilized as forensic evidence. Investigation of crime
with scientific and forensic examination guarantees straightforwardness in
evidence assortment complying with the often-quoted adage Not only must justice
be done; it must be seen to be done, as established in R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy
( 1 KB 256,  All ER Rep 233) is a leading English
case on the unbiasedness and recusation of judges.
Dr. Edmond locard (1877-1966) formulate this basic principle which is essential
for today's law enforcement. But this principle of cross transfer of evidence
only works when we introduce some effective protocol to avoid contamination, and
misusing and manipulation of samples. The methodology should be adopted by the
FME workers to check any scope of modification, relocation and damage to the
Rape is a worldwide challenge for the well established nation and also the
assurance of ladies and children. Sexual offenses experience the ill effects of
under-detailing and poor pace of conviction for need of solid proof. Legal
authentication of the sole declaration of the rape survivor in rape gets
critical since these violations happen in disengagement and not with will or
consent of victim. Since 1986, DNA has developed as an intense evidentiary
device for validation of sole declaration of the female victim or rape survivor.
DNA profiling between the prosecutrix and the perpetrator/accused have attained
the significant value in criminal investigation.
Contact DNA innovation,
particularly Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), includes esteem particularly when
natural substance is in follows. In criminological world, choice, assortment,
bundling, labelling, stockpiling, protection, transport and support of chain of
guardianship are crucial strides for taking care of physical examples with most
extreme consideration and skill expecting to evade danger of tainting,
devastation, loss or potential fiddle.
Serving member of society i.e. a citizen and a student of Law in Amity
University Madhya Pradesh, today I like to emphasize upon the importance of
maintaining the most important part of custody of chain which is DNA from
various isolating incorporate entire blood, hair, sperm, bones, nails, tissues,
blood stains, salivation , buccal (cheek) swabs, epithelial cells, pee, paper
cards utilized for sample collection, microbes, creature tissues, or plants.
Proposed standard working systems would be a reference point of light for
infantrymen of law requirement offices to deal with criminological examples with
no legitimate or logical procedural failures. It further tries to homogenize
scientific intercession to improve skill of medicolegal specialists for leading
forensic medical examination (FME); and help courts to attempt complete
procedural assessment of master feeling so as to modify confidence of normal
mass in judicial procedures.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 1,56,327 rape cases were
on trial in 2018. Of these, trial was completed in 17,313 cases, resulting in
conviction in only 4,708 cases. There was acquittal in 11,133 rape cases and
discharge in 1,472 cases. With this we can compute the percentage of cases where
the conviction happened which is about 27.2% as far as old statically data is
concerned police in our nation suggested prosecution in 96% cases of sexual
offenses in 2016 however obtained only 26% which is 1.2% less than the present
Looking toward the charge sheeting of sexual offences which is nearly
85%. Yet, courts are somewhere failing rape victims by being capable to dispose
only 11.3% of cases brought to trials. The horrid situation of low pace of
conviction combined with postponed preliminary can be tended to by improving
nature of investigation particularly illustrating certification by measurable
Threatening vibe of the prosecutrix because of different components
including associate and vicinity of the denounced with rape survivor is a
conspicuous explanation behind absolution, which might be relevantly tended to
by criminological and medicolegal authentication. Forensic devices would
additionally support prosecution charges by cross-examination, so as to make
sure about conviction. Be that as it may, leading scientific investigation needs
talented labor prepared in crime scene investigation and lawful methods
bolstered by standard convention for the executives of measurable impressions.
Rape offences in the State of Uttar Pradesh in India which has a populace of
roughly 200 million. The episodes of sexual brutality in India are surpassing
limit level when contrasted with worldwide situation, underlining for scholastic
enquiry. A sum of 998 examining officials, 310 administrative cops and 350
Public Prosecutors reacted during this experimental examination through meeting
aides and polls. 114 partners as key sources, for example, forensic researchers,
medicolegal experts, attorneys and Judges were met for subjective criticism.
The examination revealed that experts available to come in to work for crime
scene are not satisfactorily preprared in dealing with forensic samples and
standard measures are missing, thusly, specialists used DNA evidence just in 5%
cases. On an ordinary, inspectors train only for around three days in their
entire livelihood on DNA evidence still 25% of them acknowledge that they have
satisfactory capacities for coordinating scientific investigation. This
viewpoint doubtlessly restrains them from learning and updating their keen
Essence of Forensic Evidence in Justice system:
With the advancement of time, the crimes are becoming complex, basic,
computerized and composed. The method of carrying out crimes is changing with
the progressions of science and innovation. Forensic evidence might be followed
and gathered from different sources, for example, casualty, denounced or nature.
Samples after forensic investigation may outfit trustworthy data utilized as
optional evidence helping in quest for truth.
Forensic evidence approves
reasonableness in investigation by reproduction of crime scene, verification of
oral proclamations and realities, distinguishing proof of obscure casualties or
culprits with more noteworthy exactness in criminal cases. DNA evidence since
beginning has end up being a nostrum for restorative equity to optional
exploitation because of misleading complaint and improper conviction.
Classification of Forensic Evidence:
Principally two kinds of evidence, biological and non-biological type. In
biological we have all organic things like semen, blood, body liquids, spit,
sweat, wood, plants, hair etc. and in non-biological or physical evidence which
involves non-living or inorganic items such as, shoe marks, tire marks,
cigarette residues, glass, paint, drugs, firearms etc.
Otherwise we can classify them in most common types which is very important from
the point of view of the forensic science:
Consensual collection of DNA Sample: An important aspect to initiate the
- Blood Splatter
- DNA Sample
- Entomology (study of insects, during the post-mortem of body)
- Dentistry (especially in the analysis of bite marks came during
- Ballistics or gun-related evidence
Victim's consent to gather DNA test establishes foundation of the privilege to
security, ensured by constitution in a large portion of the purviews. DNA
uncovers a chain of an individual hereditary data; henceforth earlier assent of
victim becomes necessary.
Section 53 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 of
India empowers medicolegal personnel to gather DNA test of a blamed for rape on
guidance of cop. Be that as it may, to collect DNA samples and to conduct FME,
free consent of victim is required, which is also established in Selvi v. State
of Karnataka, (2010) 7 SCC 263.
Well established precedent in Nandlal Wasudeo
Badwaik v. Lata Nandlal Badwaik
, (2014) 2 SCC 576, that in light of a legitimate
concern for equity, courts are given exceeding forces for adjusting contending
interests of individual and network in getting biological evidence gave
procedure of sample extraction is non-intrusive in nature.
In a recent case, in Deepanwita Roy
v. Ronobroto Ro
y (2015) 1 SCC 365. forensic issue doesn't involve lawful right of
any blaming party until in the event that it is prominently required and in the
wake of adjusting the interests of the parties according to the deciding court.
The word consent and its importance become increasingly noticeable in the light
of the recent landmark judgement of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017) 10
SCC 1, where apex court has recognized privacy as fundamental right enshrined in
the article 21 of the Indian constitution and also as an integral part of right
to life with dignity.
Extent of forensic samples in sexual assault cases:
In sexual offenses, the recorded history of event makes a forensic examiner find
and to accumulate samples of forensic significance. During rape, semen, blood,
salivation and hair may get substituted among offender and victim and may in
like manner be detectable on articles in contact. During physical examination,
Wood's light and Polilight help to recognize stains of normal substance. Video
and photography of crime scene likewise help to save the spot of evidence.
Let us comprehend the importance of semen, blood and other evidence which is
also established important evidential substance in the Management of DNA
Sampling in Rape Incidents by G.K. Goswami and Siddhartha Goswami:
Substantial Factors for DNA Specimen or sample:
Presence of seminal fluid is a great forensic marker for the FME.
Semen is significantly fluorescent under UV light and Wood's light helps with
distinguishing semen stains. To be certain semen contains spermatozoa suspended
in the seminal fluid fluid. The chance of getting spermatozoa in oral, anorectal
and vaginal pits diminishes following 6, 24 and 72 hours exclusively after
In pre-pubertal youngsters, half-presence of spermatozoa is
generally shorter on account of nonattendance of cervical mucus. In
post-pubertal female, sperms may be motile in vaginal emanation for 6 to 12
hours and in the cervix may be followed as long as 5 days. The dried spots of
basic or other body fluids on articles of clothing or hard surface are commonly
consistent and may be perceived significantly upto one year. The motility of
spermatozoa depends upon a couple of components, for instance, perpetrator may
be azoospermic or vasectomized. Prostate-explicit Antigen (PAS) is seen as most
delicate marker for semen area consolidating azoospermic samples despite DNA
Forensic serology overwhelmingly serum antigen and ABO pack
examination generally offers indications to human conspicuous proof. Blood being
incredible wellspring of DNA, supported as controlled model for DNA forensics
anyway this procedure of blood collection should be avoided if subject have a
recent medical history of blood transfusion or bone marrow transplant. Blood
stain on body, pieces of clothing and articles must be assembled for DNA source.
Blood or tissues from rashly finished hatchling or pregnant dead victim may be
potential hotspot for DNA coordinate.
- In rape cases, spit offers basic forensic hint since perpetrator for the
most part kisses, sucks or eats the victim and oral fluid may influence the
victim's skin especially on her body parts like face, chest, neck, groin,
etc. If perpetrator truly kisses the victim, DNA may be recovered up to one
hour from oral cavity of victim gave FME is developed soon and victim has not washed
her mouth for tidiness.
Butts of cigarettes, can/compartment of refreshments,
glass, etc are in like manner potential hotspots consequently. Phadebas test
perceives amylase activity to recognize spit/saliva. Spit/saliva contains
epithelial cells to coordinate DNA examination. Other than salivation oral
liquids, may contain α-amylase.
The fingernail hyponychium (region of epithelium, especially
the thickened bit, hidden the free edge of the nail plate on the nail) is a
separated zone where evidence may occur and can give an important base for
investigation. Over the span of a rape, some particles of skin may find
(particularly if the victim eroded the skin of accused). Generally, the
viability of DNA reduces after the 6 hours of incident
- Pubic hair or Head or epithelial cells:
These articles or sample of the rape survivor or accused moved between
them during the sexual contact or during resist actions by victim, ought to
likewise be gathered with most extreme consideration because of the low
measure of DNA present. It ought to be conceived as a primary concern that
the pubic hair moved during intercourse, victim being in the dorsal decubitus position (lying on back), is insignificant
regardless of whether samples are gathered after short time later the incident.
DNA is generally steady genetic particle found in the cell nucleus of body.
Different elements like timeframe, washing of material by soap or cleansers,
outside conditions (humidity, temperature) may antagonistically influence the
steadiness of DNA. In the event that FME is led inside 72 hours of rape
To avoid any further destruction of evidence, the standard protocol
recommends following practice should not be done by rape survivors immediately
after the rape or sexual offence as suggested in Magalhães T, Dinis-Oliveira
RJ, Silva B, et al
., ‘Biological Evidence Management for DNA Analysis in
Cases of Sexual Assault'
, Scientific World Journal, 2015. :
(a) shower or wash any part of the body, including mouth, hands, and head
(b) brush teeth;
(c) clean or cut fingernails;
(d) comb or cut paint hair;
(e) perform vaginal irrigation;
(f) urinate, defecate, or vomit (and if this is imperative, do it in a
clean container with a lid);
(g) eat, drink, chew, or smoke;
(h) run or perform any kind of sport activities or the same;
(I) change, wash, or destroy clothing worn during the event;
(j) change or destroy sanitary pads worn during the event;
(k) touch the crime scene (including emptying garbage can or flushing the
Plausibility to gather remote DNA from various parts of body is unexpected with
time range as given underneath:
- DNA from vagina/cervix may ideally collect within three days but up to
seven days under certain circumstances.
- DNA from anus - up to three days.
- DNA from penis - vaginal epithelial cells of victim may be recovered on
glance penis within 12 hours.
- Fingernail scrapings - two days.
- Buccal cavity (saliva and mouth swabs) - two days.
- DNA from skin to skin contact (e.g. bruises or kissing) may be detected
up to two days but up to seven days provided the subject has not showered.
- Lubricant from a condom - up to thirty hours.
The abovementioned duration or life spans are only for suggestive factor,
however factors like amount of biological matter vary from case to case and
further bathing, urination, defecation, brushing etc. may also reduce the
viability of sampling. Moreover, for DNA studies, one of the best research
facility obstructions is the defilement of DNA material from different sources
(e.g., from the analyst and other biological evidence). Defilement may happen if
there is more than one perpetrator, between the course of rape and FME, during
examination and in the scientific lab too.
Conduct of police, Doctors, counsellors and other official during FME:
While conducting FME rape survivor should be provided decent and gentle
environment of psychological support. A rape survivor is often in an uplifted
condition of mindfulness and very wound up after an assault because of circling
pressure hormones; occasions might be reviewed in sensational detail. Numerous
overcomers of rape have depicted the graciousness of the regarding work force as
being useful to their recuperation.
On the other hand, numerous portray remarks
made by police, doctors, instructors or counselors and different people with
whom they have had contact because of the assault that have frequented them for
a considerable length of time. Consequently, health workers must pick their
words with extraordinary consideration when managing rape victims and take care
not to bring in any capacity to revictimization of the victim. WHO also
emphasized that how the health workers or medical personnel should behave to get
optimum end results of FME, after all to provide victim good health and mental
condition after sexual offence should be the top priority for the well-being of
Also, Utilization of heartless or ungentle language may contribute not
exclusively to quiet trouble during the FME yet in addition frustrate or hinder
the recovery of victim. Health Workers are encouraged to pick words that can be
delicate and mitigating; there is a bad situation for critical or basic remarks.
It is basic that all victims of sexual offence are treated with deference and
nobility all through the whole FME independent of their societal position, race,
religion, sexual direction, culture, way of life, sex or occupation.
Some Psychological health consequences as given under Guidelines and protocols
medico legal care for survivors' victims of sexual violence by Ministry of
Health and Family Welfare of India:
Short term psychological effects:
Long term psychological effects:
- Fear and shock.
- Physical and emotional pain.
- Intense self-disgust, powerlessness.
- An inability to function normally in their daily lives.
Legal Obligations of the health worker in Sexual Offence:
- Depression and chronic anxiety.
- Feelings of vulnerability.
- Loss of control/loss of self-esteem.
- Emotional distress.
- Impaired sense of self.
- Avoidance and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Chronic mental disorders.
- Committing suicide or endangering their lives.
Health workers assume a double job in reacting to the survivors of rape. The
first is to give the necessary clinical treatment and mental help. The second is
to help survivors in their medico-legal procedures by gathering evidence and
guaranteeing a great quality documentation. In the wake of making an appraisal
with respect to the seriousness of sexual brutality, the principal obligation of
the specialist is to give clinical treatment and take care of the survivor's
At the same time, it is appropriate to recall that the sites of treatment
would likewise be inspected for evidence collection later. Below mentioned are
the obligations and guidelines given by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of
India under the GUIDELINES & PROTOCOLS Medico-legal care for survivors/victims
of Sexual Violence:
Section 164 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code lays out following legal
obligations of the health worker in cases of sexual violence:
- Examination of a case of rape shall be conducted by a registered medical
practitioner (RMP) employed in a hospital run by the government or a local
authority and in the absence of such a practitioner, by any other RMP.
- Examination to be conducted without delay and a reasoned report to be
prepared by the RMP.
- Record consent obtained specifically for this examination.
- Exact time of start and close of examination to be recorded.
- RMP to forward report without delay to Investigating Officer (IO), and in turn
IO to Magistrate.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013, in Section 357C Cr.PC says that both
private and public health professionals are obligated to provide treatment.
Denial of treatment of rape survivors is punishable under Section 166 B IPC with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
Health professionals need to respond comprehensively to the needs of survivors.
The components of a comprehensive response include:
- Providing necessary medical support to the survivor of sexual violence.
- Establishing a uniform method of examination and evidence collection by
following the protocols. [in the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE)
- Informed consent for examination, evidence collection and informing the
- First contact psychological support and validation.
- Maintaining a clear and fool-proof chain of custody of medical evidence
- Referring to appropriate agencies for further assistance (e.g. Legal
support services, shelter services, etc).
It is important to establish a rapport with the survivor.
guidelines are to help establish rapport:
- Never say or do anything to suggest disbelief regarding the incident.
- Do not pass judgmental remarks or comments that might appear
- Appreciate the survivor's strength in coming to the hospital as it can
serve to build a bond of trust.
- Convey important messages such as: the survivor is not responsible for
precipitating the act of rape by any of her actions or inactions.
- Explain to the survivor that this is a crime/violence and not an act of
lust or for sexual pleasure.
- Emphasize that this is not a loss of honour, modesty or chastity but a
violation of his/her rights and it is the perpetrator who should be ashamed.
- Take help of a counselor, if required.
Possible sources of Biological evidence in rape incidents:
- The health worker should explain to the survivor in simple and
understandable language the rationale for various procedures and details of
how they will be performed.
- Specific steps when dealing with a survivor from marginalized groups
such as children, persons with disability, LGBTI persons, sex workers or persons from
minority community, may be required as recommended in Chapter 3.
- Ensure confidentiality and explain to the survivor that she/he must
reveal the entire history to health professional without fear. The survivor
may be persuaded not to hide anything
- The fact that genital examination may be uncomfortable but is necessary
for legal purposes should be explained to the survivor. The survivor should
be informed about the need to carry out additional procedures such as
x-rays, etc. which may require him/her to visit to others departments. While
performing the examination, the purpose of forensic medical examination is
to form an opinion on the following:
- Whether a sexual act has been attempted or completed. Sexual acts
include genital, anal or oral penetration by the penis, fingers or other
objects as well as any form of non consensual sexual touching. A sexual act
may not only be penetration by the penis but also, slightest penetration of
the vulva by the penis, such as minimal passage of the glans between the labia with or without
emission of semen or rupture of the hymen.
- Whether such a sexual act is recent, and whether any harm has been
caused to the survivor's body. This could include injuries inflicted on the
survivor by the accused and by the survivor on the accused. However, the
absence of signs of struggle does not imply consent.
- The age of the survivor needs to be verified in the case of adolescent
girls/boys. Whether alcohol or drugs have been administered to the survivor
needs to be ascertained.
The medicolegal experts lead definite examination of the assortments of the
victim and the blamed for rapes for recording wounds and other essential data
fundamental for medicolegal report and furthermore direct FME for assortment of
forensic samples from bodies and garments of victim and the perpetrator.
Forensic experts gather pertinent evidence having forensic centrality from crime
The sources for DNA sample collection are as under:
DNA kit for Evidence Collection during FME:
- Victim-Vaginal swab, anus region swab, buccal swab, breast swab,
chomp/bite marks, pubic hair brushing, spit or semen stains, garments
particularly underpants to look for biological substance for DNA examination.
Fingernail cuts underneath hyponychium give important evidence including hair,
body liquids, hair strands, so on.
- Accused- Buccal swab, penal swab, saliva, blood stains, groin scraps, pubic
hair strands, linen or cloth etc.
- Crime scene (spot of event)- Biological evidence like culled hair, spots
of blood or semen, cloth, fingerprints, and so on might be gathered from
physical evidence like cigarette butts, chew out gum, condoms, spectacles,
vehicles etc. Menstrual items, tampons, condoms from trash may give DNA
content. A reasonable unique mark like fingerprint might be a strong source
for DNA investigation.
- Place other than crime scene- Articles, for example, garments of the
victim or perpetrator, weapon, cell phone, wallet, and so on recovery from
some other spot on counsel of the charged/suspect (recovery under Section 27
of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872) or witness may give valid forensic
evidence. This section states that, How much of information received from
accused may be proved.-Provided that, when any fact is deposed to as
discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of
any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such
information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates
distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved. This is
additionally called Doctrine of Confirmation by Subsequent Events, because
every part of the statement, made at the instance of the accused, in a
police custody should necessarily be confirmed by the subsequent events of
discovery, to make it admissible in court. The provision is couched in the
form of a proviso, an exception, though it is not clear from its terms as to
which provisions it qualifies, exclusively established in 185th Law
Commission Report, Government of India, Part I, p. 142.
A rape kit is otherwise called a Sexual Assualt kit (SAK), a rape forensic
evidence (SAFE) unit, a rape evidence collection pack (SAECK), a sexual offense
evidence collection (SOEC) unit, or a physical evidence recuperation pack (PERK)
is a bundle of things utilized by clinical personnel for securing and protecting
physical evidence following a claim of rape. Louis R. Vitullo developed the
essential unit in the late 1970s in order to give a progressively uniform show
to evidence collection after sexual offences. For years, the normalized
instrument was alluded to as a Vitullo pack.
Difficulties of contamination and
procedural sacredness of DNA test might be tended to by utilizing DNA packs
having specific things for forensic examining. As it is already stated in the
above discussion that contamination is the biggest hurdle in the FME. =
unit must contain the accompanying things as suggested by Rape, Abuse & Incest
National Network (RAINN) which is an American non-profit anti-sexual assault
organization and also by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of
India under the GUIDELINES & PROTOCOLS Medico-legal care for survivors/victims
of Sexual Violence.
Rape kits vary by location of its use, but commonly should contain following
Other items for forensic/medical examination may include:
- Instructions for the user/health worker (By the Forensic Research
Institute or other Competent Authority)
- Forms for certification
- Bags and sheets for large evidence collection
- Sterile sample containers
- Latex or nitrile disposable gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment
(PPE) including eye protection, paper mask that covers nose and mouth, hair net,
white paper body suit, sleeve protectors, shoe covers
- Blood collection devices including syringes and needles
- Tubes, vials, vacutainers for blood samples
- Swabs (sterile) of different size, shape and design to use for sample
collection. Synthetic swabs made up of flocked nylon are preferred over
- Wooden or plastic containers for collection of fluids from lips, cheeks,
vagina, anus, thighs, buttock, etc.
- Swab boxes or other suitable container for packaging of swabs
- Disposable razor blade or scalpel
- Distilled water
- Bleach sterilization solution (1:10), prepare fresh when needed
- Alcohol pads for cleaning
- Envelopes or bindle paper
- Paper wrapping and paper bags
- Evidence tape
- Biohazard labels
- Lac (sealing wax) sticks for sealing
Collection and Preservation of DNA Sample:
- Colposcope (to examine cervix, vagina and vulva)
- Vaginal speculums
- Camera (35mm, digital with color printer)
- Magnifying glass
- Wood's lamp or a torch
- Surgilube (lubricating agent)
- Post-It Notes (Also known as sticky note is a small piece of paper
having re-adherable strip of glue on one side, used for temporarily attaching to the
artifact for brief notes) to collect trace evidence
- Toluidine blue dye
- Urine Pregnancy Test Kit
- Patient gown, cover sheet, blanket, pillow
- Drying rack for wet swabs and clothing
This is the most important and crucial step of FME where preserving biological
evidences from defilement or contamination is pivotal safety measure at any
crime scene. In forensics, assortment procedure may rely on circumstance, area
other than the idea of an example.
In sexual offenses, following a natural
example is basic, and interchange light source might be helpful. The area of
blood or other bodily fluid stains must be video or photo recorded. Emphasis
must be given to gather evidence of delicate nature. It is recommended to
present or collect the entire thing, yet in case it is incredibly tremendous in
size, by then after photograph, significant bit of forensic worth must be
accumulated for examination.
Ecological variables, for example, warmth and dampness, can likewise quicken the
contamination of DNA. For instance, wet or then again clammy evidence that is
bundled in plastic will give a development situation for microscopic organisms
that can devastate DNA evidence. In this way, organic evidence ought to be
altogether air dried, bundled in paper, and appropriately named. Taken care of
as such, DNA can be put away for a considerable length of time without hazard of
broad debasement, even at room temperature. For long term storage issues,
contact the nearby crime research center.
Minimizing Biological evidence Loss:
Generally, in FME, the evidence recovered in low amounts. Thus, to minimize the
loss in this procedure multiple swab technique is used. In pursuance of clear
evidence like semen smears, two things should be kept in mind: the quantity of
swabs to be used during the collection for each evidence and having relevance
(or not) of semen smears for spermatozoa perception under microscope.
The number of swabs used during FME is analyzed on the idea that how much
concentration of evidence does come out in each swab. Hochmeister and Ferrel in
Sexual Assault, the Health Care Response: A Complete Guide to the Forensic
Examination and Evidence Collection of the Adult Sexual Assault Patient,
Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Berne, 1999, consider that one swab
for each thing of evidence is all that anyone could need. Others encourage to
gather at any rate two swabs for a similar thing of evidence.
The examiner by
using his intellect should determine the technique which should be adopted for FME and also considering the given objectives given in ibid mentioned article:
Subsequently, it is imperative to feature how every method meets these targets:
- capacity to direct autonomous examination for counter proof;
- collection of all biological evidence accessible; and
- proper ease to gather evidence.
Packing, Labelling/Tagging and Storing the Biological Evidence:
- One swab at a time: it is a quick method however doesn't ensure that the
whole evidence is gathered for research center examination. It is especially
valuable within the sight of evidence with constrained amount.
- Two swabs at the same time: for this situation, evidence will be
isolated into two swabs, which could lessen the accomplishment of the
research center examination. Moreover, nothing can ensure that the two
swabs, even utilized together, have a similar evidence amount, which for
certain creators is by all accounts important for lawful issues. The
biological evidence is quickly gathered and permits the utilization of the
second swab for counterproof. In anogenital area this method is just acted in grown-up or post pubertal victims.
It ought to be viewed as when there is sufficient organic material accessible
(e.g., direct discharge inside vaginal cavity happened).
- Two swabs progressively or "double swab technique": it is the
utilization of two progressive swabs, the first being wet (intending to
gather most of the evidence) and the second being a dry swab went through a
similar put in, the request for the swabs being commented on. This procedure
means to gather the biggest amount of evidence accessible. This is not a
fast technique and also there is no assurance of balance of the two swabs
(the subsequent swab may have a lot of lower grouping of the evidence),
lessening convenience in counterproof. Instead of all these lacunas, this
technique is mostly used in FME due to its
In order to ensure the scaredness of evidence this process of packing, labelling/tagging
and storing must be followed properly. The successful completion of this process
gives guarantee that evidence will be accepted without any hurdle in the court
of law. The biological evidence must be appropriately evaporated or dried up
before packaging. If drying process is not possible, that articles or samples
might be solidified.
During packaging of biological material, due safety measure
contingent upon essence of evidence must be seen to prevent tainting, loss and
debasement. Plastic pouches or sacks or compartments must be used to secure the
evidence and self-fixing paper bundles should be used for packaging. Sodden or
wet body liquids ought not be put away in plastic sacks for long time to
maintain a strategic distance from bacterial development and pollution coming
about into DNA debasement.
The sample, particularly garments having natural
liquids, stains or swabs gathered from the subject must be appropriately dried
in air before packaging. In the event that blood or some other body liquid is
splashed on a material or piece of clothing, it ought to be wrapped with a sheet
of clean white paper to shield stain designs and keep from conceivable
cross-contamination, and incidental exchange of stains to stainless bits of the
A bindle might be utilized for packaging hair, strands and leaves. All
evidence ought to be bundled and fixed separately. Prior to fixing the bundle,
the analyst/IO should assemble demand structure with sample inside the pack.
Bundles ought not be stapled and should be marked across the seal so as to
identify conceivable hardening.
Marks list indicates the particulars from whom and where from the evidence was
gathered. After legitimate marking by biohazard assignment, each sample must
have a name/tag having following data as per Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare of India under the GUIDELINES & PROTOCOLS Medico-legal care for
survivors/victims of Sexual Violence
- Packet number:
- Name of the hospital & place:
- Hospital number & date:
- Police station with MLC number:
- Name of the person with age & sex:
- Sample collected:
- Examination required:
- Date & time signature of doctor with seal:
The evidences which are gathered during FME should be properly marked by two
autonomous examiners and each sample must be photographed for making proper
chain of custody. DNA might be debased or degraded by unfavorable ecological
factors, for example, heat, daylight, microbes and shape, consequently, due
precautionary measure is justified for safe conservation of short-lived samples.
During the course of transportation of sample from crime spot to lab the samples
must be put away in cool and dry condition so that the viability of DNA specimen
must be maintained. Investigators or FME experts must take proper care to check
defilement or contamination of DNA evidence. Direct daylight and warm conditions
may cause DNA corruption or degradation. In a perfect world DNA samples must be
put away in a fridge at 4°C or a cooler at - 20°C to decrease DNA corruption or
Making sure about Chain of custody (COC) and Safe Transportation of
Biological Evidences to the Laboratory:
Legitimacy of a sample is totally depending upon how the collection and
preservation protocols is followed by the FME examiners and also the
investigators at crime spot. Chain of evidence is a fundamental authoritative
record (convention), gives shields against any avoid contamination, and misusing
and manipulation of samples.
In People v. Connelly
, (1974), 316 NE 2d 706, pp.
708 (NY) the Court of Appeal of the State of New York had seen that, it is
necessary to establish a complete chain of evidence, tracing the possession of
the exhibit … to the final custodian, and … if one link in the chain is entirely
missing, the exhibit cannot be introduced or made the basis for the testimony or
report of an expert or officer. Also, it was stated in the same that,
Admissibility generally requires that all those who have handles the item
identify it and testify to its custody and unchanged condition
For the sake of fool-proof custody the hospital authority must assign certain
staff answerable for taking care of evidence and nobody other than these people
must approach the samples. This is done to check misusing and altering. On the
off chance that a secure chain of care isn't kept up, the evidence can be
rendered prohibited in the official courtroom. A record of giving over of
evidence from one place to the next must be kept up.
The chain of custody ensures against human mistake, making sure about honesty
and holiness vital for acceptability of evidence during court proceedings, well
stated in Robinson v. Commonwealth, (1971), 183 SE 2d 179 (Va). During whole
course of forensic evidence from collection at crime scene to court by means of
forensic research center, the chain of custody must be properly kept up in a
record book showing that the sample was in genuine authority at every stage.
reality COC speaks to arrangement of archives, for example, messenger receipts,
lab record book and work sheets. The length of chain of custody shifts in
various jurisdiction as talked about in Ohio v. Conley
(1971), 288 NE 2d 296
(Ohio Ct App).
This variation in jurisdiction about COC is also talked about
in State v. Sweet
, 647 S.E.2d 202, 206 (S.C. 2007) "Testimony from each
custodian of fungible evidence, however, is not a prerequisite to establishing a
chain of custody sufficient for admissibility. Where other evidence establishes
the identity of those who have handled the evidence and reasonably demonstrates
the manner of handling of the evidence, our courts have been willing to fill
gaps in the chain of custody due to an absent witness."
Contents of Chain of Custody:
The content of chain of custody includes as suggested in Management of DNA
Sampling in Rape Incidents
by G.K. Goswami and Siddhartha Goswami:
- Unique identifier
- Item description
- Identity of the person who collected the item
- Time and date of collection
- Acknowledgment with identity of persons who received the docket
- Description of docket movement
During criminal trials, prosecution must remove any chance of tampering or
manipulation of Chain of evidence in order to make his arguments with solidity
and evidentiary based. Contrary in the civil matters as if we look in medical
negligence the burden of proof always upon the party who are offering evidence.
Almost all living species contain DNA material, which in present scenario
becoming a most diverse and legitimate source of criminal investigation.
Biological evidence is significant, particularly in sexual offense, since it
might demonstrate the presence of sexual contact and lead to the distinguishing
proof of a perpetrator.
Scientific investigation is an antecedent to reasonable
or fair trial to guarantee equity. DNA as relentless observer has demonstrated
its reliability in court gave sanctity of biological sample is without question.
Carelessness is no reason in dealing with delicate nature of samples since it
might invalidate the motivation behind forensic investigation and can possibly
bring about blemished equity.
In the light of above discussion, I can say that
standard conventions or protocols should be developed in a way which remove any
chance of defilement or contamination of biological evidence. Once in a while
DNA evidence isn't usable or can be demonstrated contaminated if the samples of
organic liquids haven't been gathered or moved appropriately. Chain of custody
also plays an important role for prosecution to prove his arguments which can
lead to conviction.
Also, for the cases where there are false charges by woman
to defame and get profited, safeguard turns out to be progressively
unpredictable when the accused was at the scene for a crime however didn't carry
out the crime. If an accused's DNA doesn't found on the body of victim, then
there is clear reflection that the person could not have been at the scene of
the crime. Since rape frequently include connection between individuals who know
one another, so it is useful and necessary for transparent and just trial.
Reliability of these samples solely depend upon the timeframe and due course
followed to get results.
After my conclusive remarks I like to rest my words
with some often-used expressions to reflect the platform of the justice, equity
and good conscience:
Rape is a violation of bodily integrity and not a loss of honor or respect.
Assault on the other hand is a misuse of power and not an action of desire.
- Management of DNA Sampling in Rape Incidents by G.K. Goswami &
- Magalhães T, Dinis-Oliveira RJ, Silva B, et al., ‘Biological Evidence
Management for DNA Analysis in Cases of Sexual Assault', Scientific World
- Investigation of Sexual Offences: Victim's Perspective, March 2017, by
- Connors, Lundregan, Miller and McEwen, ‘Convicted by Juries, Exonerated
by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence
After Trial', US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1996.
- Kamodyová N., Durdiaková J., Celec P., et al., ‘Prevalence and
Persistence of Male DNA Identified in Mixed Saliva Samples after Intense
Kissing', Forensic Science International: Genetics, vol. 7, no. 1, 2013, pp.
- Auvdel M.J., ‘Amylase Levels in Semen and Saliva Stains', Journal of
Forensic Science, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 426-431.
- Khaldi N., Miras A., Botti K., et al., ‘Evaluation of Three Rapid
Detection Methods for the Forensic Identification of Seminal Fluid in Rape
Cases', Journal of Forensic Science, vol. 49, no. 4, 2004, pp. 749-753.
- Assessment and examination of adult victims of sexual violence by WHO
- Guidelines and protocols medico legal care for survivors' victims of
sexual violence- 2014
- M. Hochmeister and J. Ferrel, Sexual Assault. The Health Care Response.
A Complete Guide to the Forensic Examination and Evidence Collection of the
Adult Sexual Assault Patient, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of
- Understanding Evidence by Paul C. Giannelli