Forensic science may be defined as a science applied to matters of law.
Forensic science is science used for the purpose of the law and thus any branch
of science used in the resolution of legal disputes is forensic science. In the
broadest sense, forensic science is any science used in the resolution of legal
The word forensic
is rooted in Latin word forensis
. The dictionary meaning of
word the forensic
is relating to court or law
or relating to court of law
But in legal terminology it may mean the science which deals with the
principles and practice of different branches of science which elucidates
doubtful questions in court of justice
. It is a science composing of those
matters which may be considered as common ground to both the scientists and the
The ancient Roman forum was the site of debate concerning governmental issues,
but it also was the courthouse, where trials were held. Therefore, forensic
science has come to mean the study and practice of applying natural and physical
sciences to the just resolution of social and legal issues. Its use by the legal
system distinguishes it from other science; the expectation of routine
appearances in a court of law distinguishes a forensic scientist from other
Forensic science subsists coming together with law and science. Even
though forensic science has been identified intimately with the criminal justice
system in the past, now the forensic scientist plays a gradually more active
role in civil proceedings and in regulatory issues.
Virtually no limitation exists to the scope of physical evidence that is gist
for all forensic scientists. Physical evidence may range in size from the
microscopic (for example, a pollen grain) to the macroscopic (for example, a
diesel truck). This wide meaning covers criminal prosecutions in the widest
sense, together with patrons and ecological safeguard and physical condition and
protection at work, as well as civil proceeding such as violate of agreement and
Forensic Science is basically the application of science to law. Forensic
science is used to investigate criminal cases involving a victim, such as
assault, robbery, kidnapping; rape, murder and civil cases such as forgeries,
fraud, or negligence. Forensic science also determines as to whether laws or
policies have been dishonored in the marketing of items relating to food and
drink, manufacturing of medicine, agricultural particular use, automobile
discharge observance, consumption water cleanliness, and monitoring
international secret nuclear weapons etc.
Principles Of Forensic Science
The principles of forensic science guide the disciplines and methodologies of
science in analysing the evidence to answer certain questions. These principles
of forensic science have an impact upon criminal proceedings which start from
the point of investigation upon the occurrence of a crime till the conviction of
the accused in the court of law. The principles of forensic science which are
significant in criminal proceedings are as follows:
- Locards Principle: Sir Adman Locardo, a pioneer in
criminology and forensic science, gave the basic principle of forensic science
every contact leaves a trace. This principle holds that the perpetrator of a
crime will bring something into the crime scene and leave with something from
it. This principle is associated with the trace evidence collection at the crime
- Law of individuality: Every individual, natural or manmade, has a
distinct quality or characteristic which is not duplicated in any other
form. The most distinctive character associated with law of individuality is
fingerprints which has a judgemental role in forensic science.
- Law of exchange: Law of exchange states that when a criminal or
his instrument comes in contact with the victim or the objects surrounding
him he leaves some trace behind so that these traces are helpful for
- Law of progressive change: It states that everything changes with
the passage of time and its impact on criminal investigation is immense
because the crime scene and the criminal undergo changes and sometimes
- Law of comparison: This principle compares only the people with
similar likes whereas people having dissimilar likes are not compared.
- Law of analysis: It means collection of the correct samples and
their preservation for better analysis. The evidences have to be preserved
in the prescribed manner to avoid tampering and destruction.
- Law of probability: All the identifications and identities are
sometimes consciously and unconsciously correct based on circumstances.
- Law of circumstantial facts: Facts never lie but men can lie.
Facts cannot be wrong, it cannot lie, it cannot be wholly absent. Therefore
the importance of circumstantial facts is good for oral evidence.
Thus Forensic Science is that scientific discipline which is directed to the
recognition, identification, individualization and evaluation of physical
evidence by the application of the principles and methods of natural sciences
for the purposes of administration of criminal justice.