The article 'Definition, Scope and Significance of Forensic Law' aims to emphasize an overview of forensic law.

The article 'Definition, Scope and Significance of Forensic Law' aims to emphasize an overview of forensic law, i.e., a specialized branch of the legal system that combines elements of law and science to investigate, analyze, and present evidence in legal proceedings. DefinitionThe word “forensic” means “about the law”. Forensic law refers to the application of legal principles and procedures in the investigation, analysis, and presentation of evidence in legal proceedings. It...

The article 'Definition, Scope and Significance of Forensic Law' aims to emphasize an overview of forensic law, i.e., a specialized branch of the legal system that combines elements of law and science to investigate, analyze, and present evidence in legal proceedings. 


The word “forensic” means “about the law”. Forensic law refers to the application of legal principles and procedures in the investigation, analysis, and presentation of evidence in legal proceedings. It combines elements of law and forensic science to address legal issues related to criminal and civil cases.

Forensic law involves the use of scientific methods and techniques to gather, examine, and interpret evidence.

Forensic science is a comprehensive term, It is applying the principles of science to both civil and criminal laws that are enforced by courts and law enforcement. Forensic science is a science, by which material evidence is analysed, collected, preserved and used in a court of law. Its goal is to aid investigating officials and judicial officials in conducting criminal investigations by helping them identify and locate evidence at crime scenes and by giving them accurate information they can rely on to help resolve both criminal and civil problems.

Historical Background of Forensic Law

The concept of Forensics originated in Roman times, where the suspect/victim gave a statement based on their side of the story in the forum and the public would decide upon the best argument and would determine the outcome of the case. In simple words, it's a crime solved through debate. The Egyptian civilisation executed the first "autopsy" as far back as 3000 BC. Fingerprint and palm print recognition, first practised in China around 650 AD, is the oldest forensic technology still in use today. In 1659, the word "forensic" was initially acknowledged as a legitimate English word. By the 20th century, forensic science was widely used and recognised as a field for looking into crimes.

India is not a newcomer to the use of science and technology in the detection, investigation, and administration of justice. Kautilya's Arthashastra, which was published about 2300 years ago, contains a thorough reference to it. Thousands of years ago, Indians studied numerous fingerprint patterns. In 1849, the Department of Health established the first Chemical Examiner's Laboratory in the then-Madras Presidency. India set up its first official crime lab in the year 1878.

The modern usage of forensics is for forensic science. Forensics is a synonym for legal or related to courts, which relates to law and justice. Forensic is a union of natural science principles and law. Forensics in a broader sense is defined as a science which involves scientific methods/techniques for justice. Forensic discipline relates to the recognition, identification, and individualization evaluation of clues and physical evidence for justice.

Forensic is a specialized area. The Nature of forensics is unique, by its nature it responds to questions pertinent to the legal system and judicial process. Forensic utilizes disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, computer science and visual arts.

Significance of Forensic Law

Forensic Law deals with the involvement of forensic professionals to uncover the evidence that stands as fact, which helps in legal matters. In the last decade forensics includes various branches like anthropology, cyber laws, engineering, geology, medicine, social science, toxicology and odontology. Forensic involves various professionals such as forensic investigators, Forensic Scientists, Forensic Analyst, Forensic technicians, Forensic Accountant etc.

There have been significant scientific progressions made in the field of forensics. The progression incorporates many technologies which include DNA Profiling, Narco Analysis test, Voice Recognition, Digital Imaging, Brain Mapping, Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature etc. Now forensics has become a multi-disciplinary and multi-professional multi-technology subject.

Significance of Forensic Science in Law

● Forensic plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system. Its contribution to solving crimes through the use of advanced scientific innovations.

● Forensics enables us to indicate the types of crimes committed, their location, mode of commission of crime, time, and motive behind the crime.

● Forensics helps in analysing the evidence found at the location of the crime by the crime scene investigating officers

● Forensics provides information based on scientific analysis of physical evidence. There is a use of advanced methods and techniques to enhance criminal investigation.

● Forensics helps law enforcement personnel in solving crimes.

● Law enforcement officials have started becoming dependent on laboratory results. Forensic is used to acquit the innocent or can prove guilt in criminal law.

● In recent times forensics emerged as a significant component in adjudicating cases and imparting a high quality of justice.

● Forensic science is mainly concerned with materials and indirectly through material about the person/crime’s places and time during criminal investigation and trials.

● They prove the presence or lack of a connection between the crime, the offender, the victim, the crime scene, and the time of occurrence.

Scope of Forensic Law

1. Forensic is a vast and endless opportunity because of unlimited crimes happening in society. Hence the job opportunities are also endless.

2. It is a collection of almost every scientific skill that serves as a crucial and capable tool for the administration of justice in criminal, civil, legislative, and social contexts.

3. The application of legal concepts to forensic science and criminal investigations.

4. It encompasses a variety of fields, including forensic biology, forensic chemistry, forensic anthropology, forensic psychology, and digital forensics.

5. Forensic law covers the identification, acquisition, and preservation of physical and digital evidence at crime scenes.

6. To establish connections and ascertain the facts of a case, requires the examination and interpretation of evidence, including fingerprints, DNA samples, ballistics, and trace evidence.

7. Determining a person's guilt or innocence in a criminal case often depends on forensic law.

8. Examination of documents, handwriting analysis and forgery detection, which are used to establish their legitimacy and significance in court cases.

9. The investigation of digital crimes such as cyberattacks, data breaches, and online fraud by examining digital evidence and identifying perpetrators is a part of forensic law.

10. To maintain fairness, accuracy, and justice, forensic law offers guidelines on how to ethically employ forensic methods and evidence in court cases.

Admissibility of Forensic Science in Indian Court Rooms

In the course of an investigation, evidence is gathered at the crime scene, examined, and tested. The results are then presented in court. In the criminal justice system, forensic science is crucial because it gives precise information by examining physical evidence and identifying the criminal using unique clues like fingerprints, footprints, blood droplets, or hair. The application of scientific principles evolved Forensics assist in arriving at scientific conclusions to cases enabling the effective administration of the Criminal Justice System Courts are taking the help of expert evidence in the administration of justice.

Admissibility of Notes in Court

Forensic officers make a note of the crime scene in a descriptive manner. These notes help distinct a suspect or defence witness’s testimony, strengthen testimony and evidence already given by the prosecution witness to defend against the false allegations by the suspect or defence witnesses and assist the judicial system to visualize scenes and events recorded.

Admissibility of Photography in Court

Forensic photography referred crime scene photography. It allows recording the original appearance of crime scenes, physical evidence, and other related areas accurately, and permanently using either film or digital media. It is a great assistance in presenting the case in the investigation process and court proceedings. It is more explanatory in nature or a better of depicting something & effective visual aids that strengthens the facts presented. Photos don’t lie hence, it accurately represents crime scenes & evidence in court. Digital photographs admissible evidence Indian Courts Amendment in Information Technology Act, 2000.

Admissibility of Videography in Court

Videography presents valuable and some of the most effective evidence possible in court. It shows an overview of the crime scene. It shows the layout of the crime scene and its location of evidence. Compared to photographs, videography shows distance and can include audio, which brings a crime scene to life. It is a powerful medium through which firsthand information about an event can be collected and in a given situation may prove to be a crucial piece of evidence.

Admissibility of Sketches in Court

At a crime scene, sketches serve as a kind of documentation. It is the simplest and most effective way to show a crime scene. It depicts the event composed to scale using the assistance of arena sketch & measurements. Sketches enable one to accurately depict the physical facts, and relation sequence events in the scene, sketching establishes the exact location and relationship of objects with each other and evidence of the scene, Sketching creation of a scene, forms a permanent record of the scene enables the admissible in the court.

There are different types of sketches in the Crime scene such as Rough sketches, Finished sketches, Perspective sketches, Projection sketches, and Schematic sketches. Sketches enable judicial officials and witnesses and other people to visualise crime scenes, refresh investigatory memory, corroborate the testimony of witnesses

Admissibility of Forensic Evidence

Legal cases involving intricate scientific and technical issues are on the rise and courts may not have the resources to handle them. Professionally sophisticated scientific understanding is necessary for dealing with difficulties of this nature. To close a technical gap, the court requests expert testimony from a person with expertise.

Along with notes, photographs, and videography forensic evidence is admissible in the court. Evidence such as blood, hair, fingerprints, footwear marks, semen, handwriting etc. there are collected and tested in the lab by forensic professionals and the reports are submitted in the court as evidence. Forensic evidence is classified into two forms i.e. class characteristic and individual characteristic evidence.

Class characteristic refers to material found at the crime scene which is an object. Such as bullets, glass fragments, and artificial fibres. On the other hand individual characteristic refers to the material associated with a person. Such as hair, blood nails, skin etc. there is a variety of evidence which are collected at the crime scene, such as weapon evidence, biological evidence, drug evidence, fingerprint evidence, natural materials, electronic objects, and trace evidence.

The admissibility of forensic evidence in courtrooms is considered from Sections 45 to Section 51 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872.

● When necessary, the court will rely on experienced experts with technical and field expertise in the facts disclosed in the case.

● The report provided by the official or expert, who reached his conclusions in good faith using a variety of approaches, will be relied upon by the court.

● Any evidence that, in the eyes of the court, is irrelevant but is significant in the expert's estimation will acquire relevance as a result of the expert's assessment.

● Expert possesses advanced knowledge and skill in a particular field such as ballistics, fingerprint analysis, chemicals, blood spatter analysis etc.

● Under section 293(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, the court may summon and examine the expert as to the subject matter of his report.


Forensic Science is a vital tool in the criminal justice system, combining scientific principles with the law to analyze and interpret evidence. It has a rich historical background and encompasses various scientific disciplines. Forensic Law covers a wide range of fields and plays a significant role in identifying, investigating, and resolving legal matters. The admissibility of forensic science, including notes, photography, videography, sketches, and expert evidence, helps ensure fairness, accuracy, and justice in court proceedings.

Forensic science is a dynamic and evolving field that encompasses various scientific disciplines and modern technology. However, as criminals continue to employ sophisticated techniques, forensic professionals must stay abreast of new methodologies to solve crimes effectively. By embracing innovative approaches and upholding the highest standards of practice, forensic science can continue to fulfil the expectations of society and contribute to the swift delivery of justice.

Forensic law and forensic science are closely related fields that intersect within the legal system. Both complement each other and applied together to get a piece of reliable evidence and support the administration of justice.


[1] Kalyani Gupta, Forensic Science: Scope and Different Kinds of Methods, Available Here

[2] Forensic Law, Available Here

[3] Forensic Science Plays a Pivotal Role in the Legal System, Available Here

[4] Khushi Shah, Forensic Law: A Developmental Study, Available Here

[5] Nihaarika Sangwan, Forensic law and jurisprudence, Available Here

[6] Artur Appazov, Expert Evidence and International Criminal Justice, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2016

[7] Shvena Neendoor, Relevance of Forensic Science In Criminal And Civil Proceedings, Available Here

Important Links

Updated On 22 Aug 2023 6:36 AM GMT
Divya Nimbalkar

Divya Nimbalkar

Divya has a strong passion for corporate law and insolvency laws, and she thoroughly enjoys studying and writing about various legal concepts. Institution: ICFAI Law School Hyderabad.

Next Story