Forensic investigation and court room

Additionally, it serves as a mechanism for the peaceful resolution of private disputes that individuals are unable to reconcile on their own. This involves in establishing a power of management for the involvement of the judiciary systems so that we can have a better working systems.

The Indian judicial system is structured into various tiers to decentralize and effectively handle legal matters at different levels. 

These tiers include: 

1. Supreme Court: The apex court of India established on January 28, 1950, situated in Delhi. Holds the highest appellate authority and jurisdiction over both original suits and appeals from High Court judgments. Comprises the Chief Justice of India and 25 other judges, with its authority defined by Articles 124-147 of the Constitution. 

High Courts: 

A judicial entity, or a group of individuals vested with judicial authority, is responsible for adjudicating disputes across civil, criminal, ecclesiastical, or military domains. Operating independently of the executive and legislative branches, the federal judiciary collaborates with them as mandated by the Constitution. This body determines the guilt or innocence of individuals accused of crimes and prescribes appropriate punishments. 

2. Highest judicial authority at the state and union territory levels. 

Governed by Article 214 of the Constitution. There are 25 High Courts in India, each with civil and criminal jurisdiction. Can exercise original jurisdiction in certain cases and hear appeals from lower courts. Judges appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of the High Court, and the Governor of the State. 

3. District Courts: Established by state governments for each district or group of districts. 

Subject to the direct administration of High Courts and bound by their judgments. 

Comprises Civil and Criminal Courts, presided over by District Judges. 

Additional District Judges and Assistant District Judges may be appointed based on caseload. Appeals against District Court judgments lie in the High Court. 

4. Lok Adalat’s/Village Courts: Subordinate courts at the village level facilitating alternative dispute resolution. 

5. Tribunals: Specialized bodies set up by the government to handle specific matters like tax, land, consumer cases, etc. Appellate jurisdiction vested in both the Supreme Court and High Courts, allowing them to review and decide on cases from lower courts. 

Appellate jurisdiction involves the authority to either uphold or overrule judgments of lower courts. 

 

Frye Standards:

Employed in state courts to assess the admissibility of scientific evidence. 

Dictates that expert opinions grounded in a scientific method are admissible only if the method is widely accepted as reliable within the pertinent scientific community. 

Introduced to restrict the introduction of evidence and expert testimony from entire fields, ensuring that novel methods, ideas, or strategies are scrutinized before being used in court proceedings. 

While the Frye Standards have been relinquished by numerous states and federal courts in favor of the Daubert Standards, they still prevail as legal criteria in some jurisdictions. 

Criticized for impeding the utilization of dependable technology in court cases solely due to the lack of widespread adoption within a particular field.

 

Daubert Standards:

The “Daubert Standard” establishes a systematic framework for trial court judges to evaluate the reliability and relevance of expert witness testimony before presenting it to a jury, introduced in the 1993 U.S. case. 

Alters the landscape of expert testimony by assigning trial judges the role of “gatekeepers” for scientific evidence. 

Requires judges to scrutinize not only the expert’s methodology but also the fundamental scientific principles underlying the testimony, aiming to limit the admission of pseudoscientific or unreliable expert statements. 

Judges, under the Daubert Standard, must consider factors such as whether the technique or theory in question has been tested and whether it has been subjected to peer review. 

Replaces the Frye Standard, which centered on the general acceptance of scientific techniques within the relevant scientific community. 

In the realm of forensic science, the Daubert Standard is commonly applied to assess the admissibility of expert testimony on topics like DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, and ballistics, ensuring the scientific validity and reliability of the methods used. 

It’s important to note that legal standards may evolve, and the application of the Daubert Standard may vary by jurisdiction. Ongoing developments in case law and legislation could impact the admissibility of expert testimony, particularly in forensic contexts. For the latest information, consulting legal sources or seeking advice from a legal professional is recommended.

Admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom:-

Admissibility:- The term ‘admission’ is defined in Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In general sense, the term admission means power or permission to enter, admittance, entrance, access, the power to approach.

Condition of admissibility of evidence in court:-

• Relevant:-

The evidence must prove or disprove an important fact in the criminal case. If the evidence doesn’t relate to a particular fact, it is considered “irrelevant” and is therefore inadmissible and is also not permissible in Court.

• Reliable:-

Reliability refers to the credibility of a source that is being used as evidence. This usually applies to witnesses’ testimonies.

• validity:- The validity of the examination is the judicial assessment about the reasoning or methodology underline to be followed by the experts i.e. what type of tests were done, what were there steps, was preliminary confirmative examination followed or not preliminary examination means that they quality of the test how it was maintained what of the test how it was maintained what primary results it gave.

• Expert testimony :- 

It is an opinion stated under oath by a qualified individual during a trial or deposition. Such testimony can aid in clarifying complex concepts, presenting scientific evidence, evaluating data, and assisting in understanding the implications of certain actions or events. Expert witnesses can help the jury navigate through intricate subjects, and ultimately contribute to the establishment of accurate facts and informed decisions.

 

According to the saying,  “the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods;” and That “the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.” During a court trial, the expert witness takes the witness stand to present their opinions and answer questions posed by both the party that called them, and opposing counsel. 

These questions aim to establish the expert’s credibility, depth of knowledge, methodology, and the basis for their conclusions , there are various testimonies ;

Expert testimony: Refers to the presentation of specialized knowledge or opinions by a qualified expert witness during legal proceedings. This type of testimony is often used in trials to help the judge or jury understand complex issues that require specialized knowledge, and it can cover a wide range of subjects, including scientific, technical, or professional expertise. Expert testimony can have a significant impact on the outcome of a lawsuit. In cases involving complex technical or scientific issues, the clarity and insights provided by an expert witness can significantly influence the court’s understanding of the evidence and its implications. A jury, often composed of individuals without specialized knowledge, rely on expert testimony to make well-informed decisions. 

 

Direct examination:- Direct examination is the initial questioning of a witness, by the party that called them to the stand.  Under the civil procedure rules, leading questions are not allowed during direct examination unless an exception applies.  Direct examination is generally followed by an opportunity for cross examination which is limited to matters testified to during direct examination under Rule 611 of Rules of Evidence.

 This prevents a lawyer from feeding answers to a favourable witness. An exception to this rule occurs if one side has called a witness, but it is either understood or becomes clear, that the witness is hostile to the calling lawyer’s side of the controversy, the lawyer who called the witness may then ask the court to declare the person on the stand a hostile witness. If the court does so, the lawyer may thereafter ask witness leading questions during direct examination.

 

Cross examination:-

 Cross-examination is the formal questioning of a witness called by the other party in a trial to challenge the testimony the witness has already given. Cross-examination questions are usually limited to questioning only on matters raised during direct examination. However, an attorney can raise objections when their opposing counsel goes outside of these bounds

The cross-examination meaning is to elicit answers or information from witnesses, perhaps more answers than they wanted to give initially. There are additional purposes, like getting witnesses to discredit their own or other 

 

Role

Forensic investigation plays a crucial role in the courtroom by providing scientific and objective evidence to support legal proceedings. The role of forensic investigation in the courtroom encompasses several key aspects: 

 

1. Evidence Collection and Preservation: Forensic investigators collect and preserve physical evidence from crime scenes. This may include biological samples, fingerprints, digital evidence, documents, and other materials relevant to the case. Proper collection and preservation are essential to maintain the integrity of the evidence and ensure admissibility in court. 

 

2. Analysis and Examination: Forensic experts analyze the collected evidence using specialized techniques and tools. This analysis can provide valuable information about the nature of the crime, the identity of individuals involved, and other pertinent details. For example, DNA analysis can be used to identify individuals, while forensic pathology can help determine the cause of death. 

 

3. Expert Testimony: Forensic experts are often called upon to testify as witnesses in court. Their role is to present their findings, explain the scientific methods used in their analysis, and provide their expert opinions. Their testimony helps the court and the jury understand complex scientific evidence and its relevance to the case. 

 

4. Establishing Chain of Custody: Forensic investigators must establish and maintain a chain of custody for the evidence, documenting its handling from the crime scene to the courtroom. This ensures that the evidence presented in court is the same as that collected at the crime scene, minimizing the risk of contamination or tampering.

 

5. Reconstruction of Events: Forensic experts may use their findings to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to a crime. This can help build a narrative that supports the prosecution or defense’s arguments, shedding light on critical aspects of the case. 

 

6. Establishing Chain of Custody: Forensic investigators must establish and maintain a chain of custody for the evidence, documenting its handling from the crime scene to the courtroom. This ensures that the evidence presented in court is the same as that collected at the crime scene, minimizing the risk of contamination or tampering.

 

7. Reconstruction of Events: Forensic experts may use their findings to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to a crime. This can help build a narrative that supports the prosecution or defense’s arguments, shedding light on critical aspects of the case. 

 

8. Legal Consultation: Forensic investigators may collaborate with legal professionals to help them understand the scientific aspects of a case. This collaboration ensures that the legal team can effectively present the forensic evidence in court and use it to support their arguments. 

 

9. Challenging Opposing Evidence: Forensic investigators may be involved in examining and challenging the evidence presented by the opposing party. This can involve critiquing the methodology used, questioning the reliability of the results, or presenting alternative interpretations of the evidence. 

 

10. Educating the Court and Jury: Forensic experts play an educational role by helping the court and jury by understanding the scientific principles behind their analyses. This education is crucial for making informed decisions and reaching a just verdict. 

 

In summary, the role of forensic investigation in the courtroom is to provide a scientific foundation for legal proceedings, ensuring that evidence is collected, analysed, and presented in a manner that is accurate, reliable, and understandable to those involved in the legal process. As, forensic investigation plays a crucial role in the courtroom by furnishing a scientific foundation for legal proceedings. Its primary objective is to guarantee the accuracy , reliability and comprehensibility of evidence collection, analysis and presentation, ensuring that all stakeholders in the legal process can rely on a sound scientific basis.

 
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