Crime is as old as humankind, and justice as old as civilized society. With the passage of time, the methods of crime and systems of justice have evolved. While yesteryears’ systems of justice were rather crude and barbarous, today’s legal system looks for “Evidence beyond reasonable doubt”.
Today in India and many other democratic nations, the judiciary requires convincing evidence to convict the suspect. Many a times it is difficult to produce eyewitness or oral evidence and in a few cases where such evidence is available, it is known to have many limitations and shortcomings. It is on account of lack of substantial evidence that about 90 percent of cases are ending in acquittal. In order to avoid common man losing confidence in the criminal justice system, it is imperative to seek ways and means to improve the credibility of the system, by adequately making use of the advances and advantages of modern Science & Technology.
Most crimes leave behind traces of silent evidence. Yes, traces of materials known as physical evidence, found at the scene of crime act potent clues that become the most eloquent witnesses. Thanks to the tremendous strides made in technology, today’s scientists have a wealth of technological gadgets and tools that can help us turn these clues into powerful witnesses. Today’s Forensic Scientists use the most sophisticated equipment to unravel the mysteries from even subatomic particles or micro cells like DNA.
Anything to everything that is conspicuously absent or present in/on/near the victim/suspect/crime scene, surrounding area, neighborhood, etc., and even dust, pollen, bloodstain, bullet, glass, paint, hair, ash, etc., serve as silent speakers’ of truth. These very materials can become valuable pieces of evidence in the hands of forensic scientists who seek truth and nothing but truth.
Forensic Science is the science that deals with analysis of physical evidence collected from all possible sources criminal and victim are associated with. Forensic Scientists are the scientific experts engaged in extensive scientific investigation who perform crucial tasks with their technical expertise, experience and skills using the best scientific techniques to tie the loose ends in order to link the crime with the criminal. Like picking up bits and pieces of flesh from the crime scene to compare and match DNA, matching skulls with faces, deciphering invisible traces of writings from age old documents – the list is endless.
As true seekers of truth, these technical sleuths have certainly come a long way from the so-called ‘magnifying glass combing operations’ of Sherlock Holmes to the modern day’s most powerful Scanning Microscope which can magnify even the tiniest object to 2,00,000 times.