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Forensic Investigations: 3 Shocking Cases & Vigorous Techniques

Sarang Khatavkar

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Sarang Khatavkar

Forensic accounting investigations are like detectives in the financial world. They play a vital role in uncovering financial crimes, such as theft or hiding money. These investigations help find and get back stolen or misused money. In this article, we’ll see how forensic accountants investigate financial crimes and the methods they use to find evidence.

What are Forensic Investigations?

Forensic investigations are like scientific detective work. Experts analyze evidence to solve crimes, settle legal disputes, and present evidence in court. They collect, study, and interpret physical and digital evidence found at crime scenes. Forensic accountants are specially trained to investigate financial crimes like fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. They play a crucial role in uncovering the truth and bringing justice to those involved in such illegal activities.

Generally, in India, Certified Forensic Accounting Professionals (CFAPs) carry out forensic investigations. Training for Certified Forensic Accounting Professionals (CFAPs) focuses on honing their abilities to identify suspicious patterns and discrepancies in financial documents and transactions. These signs can be indicative of potential criminal activities.

Techniques of Forensic Investigations

They use a variety of techniques to gather evidence and build a case. Some of these techniques include:

  • Financial statement analysis: Financial statement analysis is like investigating a puzzle in numbers. Forensic accountants, who are like financial detectives, carefully look at financial papers to find any mistakes, differences, or strange things that could mean someone is doing something wrong, like cheating or doing something illegal. It’s a bit like catching a thief who leaves clues behind in the numbers.
  • Asset tracing is like following a money trail. Forensic accountants use their skills to track how money moves through complicated transactions to find out where the money originally came from. It’s like being a financial detective to figure out the source of the money.
  • Computer forensics is like detective work for computers. Imagine someone using special tools and methods to find hidden information on electronic devices, like laptops or phones. They look for clues in the digital world to figure out if someone did something wrong. It’s kind of like searching for fingerprints on a computer instead of at a crime scene. These experts use special computer programs to uncover data and check if it can be used as proof in a case.
  • Interviewing witnesses : Forensic accountants talk to people who might know about the fraud. They do this to learn more about what happened and to put together evidence for their case.
  • Document analysis: Experts like forensic accountants look at papers like contracts, bills, and bank papers. They do this to find proof of cheating or other bad money activities.

Forensic Investigations in Action

Forensic investigations can be quite complicated and take a lot of time. They often involve dealing with large amounts of financial data and using special tools and methods. Let’s see some real-life examples of how forensic accounting investigations work.

In India, forensic accounting investigations are becoming more frequent because businesses and individuals are facing more attention from regulatory authorities, creditors, and other interested parties.

Satyam Fraud

One of the most well-known cases of forensic accounting investigations in India is the Satyam Computer Services scandal, exposed in 2009. Satyam, a major IT company in India, falsely inflated its revenue and profits by over $1 billion over several years.

This scandal resulted in the arrest and conviction of several top executives, including the company’s founder and chairman, Ramalinga Raju. Forensic accountants played a crucial part in uncovering fraud by carefully examining financial records and transactions to spot irregularities and discrepancies.

Forensic accounting played a significant role in the investigation of the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam. Fraudulent activities by the commodities exchange resulted in the loss of more than Rs 5,500 crore in 2013. Forensic accountants also conducted investigations of financial records. They found transactions as evidence of wrongdoing. The investigation resulted in the arrest of several individuals involved in the scam, including the exchange’s founder and several top executives.

Forensic accountants have used their skills and expertise in India to uncover fraud in the banking sector. In 2018, the Punjab National Bank (PNB) became embroiled in a massive fraud case. Rogue insiders used fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) to obtain loans from other banks. The fraud caused the bank to lose more than Rs 14,000 crore. As a result, many people, including top bank officials, were arrested. Forensic accountants played a vital role in finding the fraud. They looked at financial records and transactions to find any mistakes or unusual things.

Moreover, forensic accounting investigations are not limited to the corporate sector in India. CFAPs are also involved in investigating cases of tax evasion. They also work with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to uncover fraudulent activities and financial crimes.

In simple terms, these investigations involve looking at financial documents, finding transactions that seem suspicious, and following the path of money. With their knowledge of forensic accounting, these experts help catch financial criminals and stop similar crimes from occurring again.

In a famous case, the Income Tax Department of India used forensic accounting techniques to uncover a tax evasion scheme involving a well-known builder. During the investigation, they found that some cash transactions were not properly recorded in the builder’s financial records. As a result, the builder was penalized heavily under Income Tax Laws. This case shows how forensic accounting techniques can be essential in revealing fraud and ensuring fairness for those affected.

CAG’s Role in Forensic Investigation

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is a significant auditing authority in the country. They have been actively involved in conducting forensic accounting investigations in the public sector. In 2020, they conducted a special audit of the Delhi Jal Board. Their investigation revealed many cases of irregularities and mismanagement of funds. The audit report also found instances of not following financial rules and procedures, as well as instances of paying more than required and irregularities in the procurement process. CAG’s efforts have helped uncover financial issues and promote transparency in public sector organizations.

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India’s notable case studies involving digital forensic.

Digital Forensics Harshita Choudhary today January 10, 2024

Background

Of course! Digital Forensic plays a crucial role in investigating cybercrimes, analysing electronic evidences and locating important information or data stored in digital devices. Let’s explore some well-known digital forensic case studies of India, that emphasise on the significance and challenges of this specific field in solving complicated criminal cases. 

The Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj Double murder case:

In the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder case of 2008, digital forensics played a very important role in the examination of electronic evidences. Investigators were able to reconstruct the communication and interactions between the victims and possible suspects with the help of computer data, emails, and mobile phone records. Analysis of digital footprints provides information on the victim’s activities and possible leads in spite of certain data handling and integrity challenges.

The SSR- Rhea Chakraborty case: 

Digital Forensic was used in the investigation and case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Analysis of digital devices including mobile phones and computers, aimed to determine communication pattern, online activity and potential leads. Digital forensics assisted in tracking digital trails and social media activity providing insights into possible motives and connection, despite some challenges in data encryption and access to certain platforms. 

The IPL Spot-Fixing Scandal:

The Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal in 2013 involved the use of digital forensic in recovering electronic evidences. Investigators were able to identify the people involved in match fixing and unlawful betting activities through the examination of mobile phones, phone logs, text messages, and money transitions. Digital forensics played a significant role in order to establish the communication networks and revealing the complexity of the scandal.

The 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks:

The 2008 Mumbai terror attacks witnessed the application of digital forensics in analysing communication networks and electronic data. Investigation of phones, emails, GPS data, and internet usage helped in the reconstruction of perpetrators’ activities, communication channels and coordination patterns. Digital forensics overcame difficulties with encrypted communications and cross-border data access to assist the authorities in piecing together the timeline of events and identify the individuals who were involved.

The Vyapam Scam:

The Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment scandal in Madhya Pradesh involved digital forensics in examining electronic records and online transitions. Analysis of computers, emails and financial transition, helped in uncovering irregular and fraudulent practices in the examination and recruitment processes. Digital forensic played a crucial role in establishing the trail of evidence and locating major parties involved in it.

The Nirav Modi-PNB Bank Fraud case:  

The Nirav Modi-PNB Bank Fraud case demonstrated how digital forensic can be used to uncover electronic transitions and financial irregularities. Analysis of bank records, emails, and digital transition revealed the fraudulent practices and manipulation of the financial systems. Digital forensics helped in tracing the flow of funds, by which the officials were able to understand the extent of the fraud. 

The Patiala House Court Leak case:

The Leak case in Patiala House court involved the leaking of sensitive documents and information. Digital forensics played an important role in tracking down the source of leak, in analysis of electronic communication, and in the identification of those responsible for the sacrifice of confidential information. The case highlighted the importance of securing digital infrastructure in order to prevent data leaks. 

Sunanda Pushkar Death case:

The investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of politician Shashi Tharoor, involved digital forensic. Examination of electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, etc was done to piece together what happened before her death. In order to identify possible motives and relations, digital forensics helped in the analysis of connections, social media activities and online activity. Even though it was difficult to access some protected data, forensic digital analysis revealed details on the scenario. 

Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: 

The Kerala Gold Smuggling case which unfolded in 2020, involved smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels. Digital forensics played an important role in examining electronic communications such as emails, phone records and chats to trace the network which was involved in illegal activities. Examination of digital evidences revealed important links, helping investigators in unravelling the smuggling network and in identifying key individuals involved in the case.

Pegasus Spyware Scandal:

In 2021, India was entangled in the controversy surrounding the use of  Pegasus spyware. Digital forensic experts played a very crucial role in investigating allegations of unauthorised surveillance by analysing mobile devices to trace the spyware. This case demonstrated the importance of digital forensic in uncovering the sophisticated cyber espionage activities. 

The Unnao Rape case:

In the Unnao Rape case of Uttar Pradesh, where a legislator was accused of sexual assault, digital forensic analysis was performed to analyse electronic data. Investigators examine the victim’s mobile phone, social media accounts and correspondence logs to establish the sequence of events and communication patterns. Digital forensic experts retrieved the crucial data and helped in strengthening the case against the accused.

In India, digital forensic has become a vital tool in everyday criminal investigations. These case studies demonstrate how important digital forensic is for uncovering digital evidences, reconstructing timelines, communication networks, and establishing links between suspect and criminal activities. 

However, challenges persist in digital investigations such as data encryption, data integrity issues, and the need for specialised training to stay up to date with rapidly evolving digital platforms and cyber threats. 

Since digital technologies are always evolving, it is necessary to keep improving digital forensic techniques to protect the integrity of the evidence and the rule of law. One cannot underestimate the importance of digital forensics in India’s law enforcement and judicial system considering the continuous advancements in digital crimes. Its ability to track digital footprints and provide crucial evidence will continue to remain essential in solving complex crimes. 

Written by: Harshita Choudhary

Tagged as: Electronic Evidence ,  case studies ,  Forensic Science ,  Pegasus Spyware Scandal ,  Analysis ,  mobile forensics ,  Kerala Gold Smuggling ,  Examination ,  Digital Evidence Recovery ,  Sunanda Pushkar Death ,  digital footpribts ,  Patiala House Court Leak ,  digital footprints ,  Digital forensics ,  Nirav Modi-PNB Fraud Case ,  evidence ,  Crime Scene Investigation ,  Vyapam Scam ,  Digital devices ,  Cyber Forensics ,  26/11 Mumbai Attacks ,  Investigation ,  IPL Spot-Fixing Scandal ,  Crime Scene Examination ,  SSR-Rhea Chakraborty Case ,  Cybercrimes ,  Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj Case .

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forensic case studies in india

Advance forensic tests help CBI solve Shimla rape, murder case

The advanced techniques in forensic science have played a vital role in solving the kotkhai gangrape and murder case..

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The 16-year-old Gudiya went missing on July 4, 2017 while returning from school.(Picture for representation)

  • Forensic science have played a vital role in solving the Kotkhai gangrape, murder case
  • It took nine months for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to solve the case
  • The 16-year-old Gudiya went missing on July 4, 2017 while returning from school

The new and advanced techniques of forensic science have played a vital role in solving the Kotkhai gangrape and murder case of 16-year-old Gudiya.

It took nine months for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to solve the case, and it was possible only with the help of Central Forensic Science Lab, CBI.

25-year-old Anil Kumar alias Nilu was narrowed down by the CBI. "The scene of crime, where the victim was raped and murdered is a dense forest. We started combing operation and collected all the evidence which included liquor bottles, semen samples, blood samples, clay from the crime scene and other evidences. Later, we collected blood samples of over 250 people from the nearby area to match with the semen and other DNA samples," said an officer.

Police had also questioned over 2000 people and recorded statements of 400 people. When the CFSL, started matching the DNA of 250 people with the semen of accused, initial results were negative. Later, the CFSL conducted 'percentage test' and 'lineage test' of all 250 samples and fortunately, it matched with that of the sample.

"The sample matched with a family from Kangra and again blood samples were collected from both the parental sides. During investigation, we found that one of the members of family is absconding since September 2016 and since then he has not been in touch with the family," added the officer.

The CFSL success matched the DNA and narrowed down on accused Anil Kumar but tracking down Anil was not an easy task. As he was not using any cell phone, CBI prepared a list of Anil's contacts and started keeping tab on them.

Anil in the month of February, March and April had called one of his contacts but from someone else's phone. After the last call, which was made from Rohru, a team was rushed. When the team reached a farm land, Anil was not there but soon Anil was located and arrested on April 13.

"The director CBI has been monitoring the progress of this case from day one. He expressed satisfaction at the work done by the investigation team and forensic experts of CFSL, CBI for solving a sensitive and difficult case" said Abhishesk Dayal, Spokesperson, CBI.

CBI in the meanwhile has also given a clean chit to the five suspects who were arrested by SIT of state police. After conducting digital mapping, matching DNA, blood & semen sample, Narco & four polygraphs tests, it was ruled out that five suspects were involved in the rape.

The 16-year-old Gudiya went missing on July 4, 2017 while returning from school. She was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered.

The girl's naked body was found in the forest on July 6 and the post-mortem reports confirmed rape.

The case was handed over to the CBI by the Himachal Pradesh High Court on July 19 on the state governments plea. It was alleged that in order to solve the case, the SIT detained and arrested innocent people.

More anger spilled on the roads after one of the suspects arrested in the case died in police custody. The angry public set Kotkhai police station on fire.

After a lot of political uproar, the case was transferred to SIT and nine police men including an IG level officer were arrested by CBI.

The accused has been sent to judicial custody till April 7.

Also read: Class 8 student gangraped at gunpoint in Jharkhand

ALSO WATCH| Kathua gangrape victim's family flees home: India Today ground report

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Until a few years ago, India seemed like the picture of a vibrant democracy, with a robust free media and a soaring growth rate. But thanks to the rise of aggressive Hindu nationalism and its torchbearer — ruling Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, most of the indicators of modern democracy are now on the decline in India. Journalists have been booked on frivolous charges of sedition and dubbed “anti-nationals.” Online and legal harassment of free and independent media personnel at the hands of state and non-state actors have become commonplace. Meanwhile, the majority of news channels, have turned into the propaganda arm of the ruling party.

As the establishment news outlets quietly tow the government line, a few newly created digital media platforms have taken the lead in “independent and free journalism.” These reporters not only fight legal harassment in the courts, but also expose the hidden networks of troll armies, led by agents supporting the ruling elites. During the past year, these intrepid investigative journalists, mainly from the English-language press, have published some groundbreaking stories and forced the rest of the legacy media to follow them. — Deepak Tiwari, GIJN Hindi Editor

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India’s leading nonprofit digital media platform The Wire, which publishes in four languages, has been a leader of free and fair journalism. Its reporters, including founding editor Siddharth Varadrajan, have been the frequent target of government harassment, including defamation and sedition cases. Many journalists associated with the media outlet were found to be targeted for surveillance under the Pegasus Project.

Using information pulled from social media accounts, Wire reporters Alishan Jafri, Shehlat Maknoon Wani, and Varadarajan himself, spent months looking into the Delhi riots, in which 53 people were killed and which destroyed hundreds of homes and shops. Since the Delhi police failed to conduct a proper investigation into the riots, the reporters uncovered the fact that the victims were mainly from the minority Muslim community. The investigations also exposed the men who played a prominent role in spreading hate, mobilizing the mobs, and then instigating the violence.

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Modi’s ultra-nationalist government has repeatedly denied that there has been any Chinese incursion into its territory. However, India’s leading news channel, NDTV, exposed this claim as a lie using satellite images. In a series of stories, the news channel documented China-constructed enclaves inside the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian news channel’s reporting was later confirmed by a US Department of Defense report.

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The Wire’s role in the Pegasus Project investigation shook the Indian democratic system, prompting the Supreme Court of India to convene a high-level committee after the Modi government refused to admit it was snooping on opposition leaders and others on the pretext of national security.

According to The Wire’s reporting, 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers — including those used by ministers, opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, businessmen, government officials, scientists, rights activists and others — were believed to have been on the target list provided to the Israeli tech company, NSO Group. Per the report, a forensic analysis of a small sample of the phones “revealed clear signs of targeting by Pegasus spyware in 37 phones, of which 10 are Indian.”

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Remaking India’s Agricultural Economy for the Private Sector

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This data investigation by IndiaSpend – a GIJN member — exposed false claims by the Indian government that only two to four people out of every 10,000 vaccinated against COVID-19 later contracted the virus, in so-called breakthrough infections. The reporter, Rukmini S, showed that health officials failed to follow best practices in tracking the efficacy of the two Indian-based vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, giving the public an inaccurate picture of how well they worked. 

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How Advertising Fuels Media Capture in India

Deepak Tiwari

Deepak Tiwari is GIJN’s Hindi editor, a senior Indian journalist, and former vice-chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication in Bhopal. He has over 25 years of experience as a reporter, sub-editor, television commentator, media consultant, and managing editor of a media start-up, and is the author of two books.

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forensic case studies in india

Rukmani Krishnamurthy — whose role in the forensic investigation of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and the 2008 TV executive Neeraj Grover murder case will soon be immortalised in a biopic — looks back on constantly having to assert her way through the world of men

Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre will integrate forensic science-based investigation with the justice system to increase the conviction rate which is around 50% currently. Shah said the conviction rate in Canada is 62%, Israel 93%, UK 80% and the US 90%. He was in Dharwad on Saturday to lay the foundation stone for the ninth off-campus facility of the National Forensic Sciences University.

Haryana Police has suspended 14 investigating officers in Gurgaon for delays in investigating cases assigned to them. The suspensions follow an order from the home minister after an inquiry found that 73 cases registered in the city had not been disposed of. Senior police officers are investigating the reasons for the delays and have found that there were no concrete reasons for the delays in 14 of the cases. The remaining cases were delayed due to various reasons such as pending forensic reports and look-out circulars.

Police in Kolkata have decided to carry out a DNA test to resolve the mystery surrounding a missing dead body. The body belongs to an undertrial who passed away at a hospital during the Durga Puja festival. The police suspect that the family of another individual claimed the body, thinking it belonged to their relative. They will question hospital staff who were on duty at the morgue during the relevant period and believe there may have been a mistake in identifying the body. The hospital authorities argue that it is the police's responsibility to properly identify and hand over the body.

Police claimed to have solved a four-year-old murder case of a woman in Arang tehsil of Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district with the arrest of her husband, brother-in-law and another man.

Sleuths investigating gruesome crimes are increasingly relying on biological evidence collected from the crime scenes to corroborate their probe findings and nail the accused.

The city police have solved the mysterious disappearance of a missing 21-year-old man and unraveled a gruesome tale of kidnap and murder with the arrest of three suspects, including a history-sheeter who was externed from the district.

Goa police will soon acquire the technological agility to swiftly solve sensitive cases such as rape and murder, with the state-of-the-art DNA fingerprinting division at Goa Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) set to be operational by February-end.

Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre will integrate forensic science-based investigation with the justice system to increase the conviction rate which is around 50%.

In Bhopal, there has been an exponential rise in cybercrimes reported in the past year. Still, the very low rate of registration of these cybercrime complaints as first by police remains a matter of concern. Bhopal residents lost over Rs 12 crores in cybercrime incidents reported to police during 2022, but the victims are still struggling to get first registered on their complaints as per police data. The Bhopal cybercrime branch received 5491 complaints of cybercrimes in the year 2022. It means 15 cybercrime incidents took place in the city on a daily basis on an average. However, the cybercrime branch registered only 67 first firs 12 on the basis of these complaints. Most of these complaints were simple in nature and did not require complex technical investigations. However, negligible or none of the complaints have been registered as first by the police stations. Senior police officers maintained that the actual number of cybercrime incidents may be much more as most of the cases are still not being reported to police. Many victims did not report the matter to police fearing social defamation or because the fraud amount was low. Many people were demotivated by the tiring process involved in filing police complaints. The police officials maintained that the amount duped by cybercriminals from

The unnatural death of the 13-year-old girl in Assam’s Darrang district on June 11 would have remained a suicide case, but for a WhatsApp message from a journalist on August 12 that caught chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s attention.

The death of Haryana BJP functionary Sonali Phogat may have been handed over to CBI, but legal experts reckon that in the absence of any strong evidence of murder or motive behind her death, the investigating agency may be up against the wall.

CBI DSP Atul Hajela was among 15 personnel awarded the ‘Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation’ for 2021 at a function at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi, on Saturday.Union law minister Kiren Rijiju handed over the award.

The mysterious death of Haryana BJP functionary Sonali Phogat may have been handed over to CBI, but legal experts reckon that in the absence of any strong evidence of murder or motive behind her death, the investigating agency may be up against the wall.

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Digital Forensics In India- An Overview

Digital Forensics in India

This article is submitted by:

  • Panjala Shreeya
  • Kaveti Vinisha

Introduction:

The term “forensic” is derived from the Latin word “forenses,” which means “forum.” A forum was a public gathering place in early Rome where judicial hearings and debates were held.

The collecting, preservation, and analysis of evidence for prosecuting an offender in a court of law is all part of forensic science. The role of forensic science in the investigation, identification, and conviction of criminals is widely accepted in the criminal justice systems around the world.

Forensic science is the general term used for all of the scientific processes involved in solving a crime. The role of forensic scientists had grown over the past few decades due to the rise in crime rate and technological developments. Criminal activity in electronic or digital environments, particularly in cyberspace, has become commonplace. Criminals are increasingly relying on technology to carry out their crimes, posing new obstacles for law enforcement officers, attorneys, judges, military personnel, and security personnel. Digital forensics has become an important tool for identifying and distinguishing computer-based and computer-assisted crime. Because of the dependability and precision of forensic evidence in criminal identification, it has the potential to aid in the rapid disposition of criminal cases.

Justice Anand Pathak, while hearing a case in the Madhya Pradesh High Court highlighted some major issues related to forensic sciences:

“ Forensic science does not only mean DNA reports or Blood Sampling or PSL report as it goes beyond and if we wish to march with time, then we should have to be well equipped with technologies. When artificial intelligence, robotics, and drone technologies are knocking at the doors then policymakers or stakeholders cannot place rule of law or adjudication process at the mercy of archaic methods of investigation and prosecution. Police investigation and prosecution in courts cannot lie at the altar of the statement of witnesses alone but it should be based upon a scientific way of investigation and police officers, public prosecutors and trial judges ought to be well equipped with the subjects and tools of forensic sciences.”

There lies no doubt in saying that it holds an important place in the judicial system, particularly in the field of criminal justice system. Many courts have reaffirmed its evidentiary value in diverse instances.

Evidentiary value of digital forensics

The major provisions governing digital forensics are embedded in the Indian Evidence Act,1872, and the Information Technology Act,2000. The following are the said provisions:

Inclusion of electronic evidence under evidence

  • The term Evidence originally did not contain Digital evidence, it was only through the amendment made to section 3 which allowed for the inclusion of electronic evidence as “Evidence” under the Indian Evidence Act,1872. [1]
  • Section 4 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act,2008 provides for the electronic evidences in place of paper-based records. [2]

Admissibility of electronic evidence

The Indian courts have reiterated that evidence from digital sources cannot be refused, however, their accuracy must be proved.[3] The following sections allow electronic evidence thereby giving them legal backing.

Section 65-A and 65-B of the Evidence Act provides the conditions for the admissibility of electronic records. [4]

Section 79A of the IT (Amendment) Act, 2008 defines electronic evidence as any information of probative value that is either stored or transmitted in electronic form and includes computer evidence, digital audio, digital video, cell phones, and digital fax machines.

Reliability

  • Section 79A of the IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, empowers the Central government to appoint any department or agency of Central or State government as Examiner of Electronic Evidence. [5]

Cyber-crime and the Ever-Evolving Computer Forensics

Cybercrime is on the ascent as the globe increasingly relies on digital technologies and their deep, enduring, and dynamic nature. Computer forensics widely termed “digital forensics” or “cyber forensics” is the use of investigation and analytical techniques to collect and preserve evidence from a specific electronic device in a form that may be presented in court. The primary objective of Computer forensics is to conduct a systematic investigation and maintain a recorded chain of evidence in order to determine exactly what transpired on a computing device and who was accountable for it. The collecting of information in a secure way is the first step in digital forensics. The data or system is then examined to see if it was altered, how it was altered, and who made the alterations. Computer forensics is not always used in connection with a crime, it is also used to collect data from a crashed server, failed disc, reformatted operating system (OS), or other circumstance when a machine has abruptly ceased working.

Types of forensic examinations

There are various types of forensic examinations that help in tackling such crimes and some of the prominent ones are as follows:

  • Database forensics: The study of examination of databases and their accompanying meta data.
  • Email forensics: Email forensics is the analysis of the source and content of an email as evidence to identify the legitimate sender and receiver of a message, as well as certain additional information such as the date/time of transmission and the sender’s intent. It includes inspecting information, scanning ports, and conducting keyword searches.
  • Malware forensics: It is a method of locating, analysing, and examining various aspects of malware in order to identify the perpetrators and cause of the attack.  Checking for hostile code, detecting its entry, the mechanism by which it spreads, the impact on the system, the ports it tries to use, and so on are all part of the strategy.
  • Memory forensics: The examination of potentially volatile data contained in a computer’s memory dump is known as memory forensics. Memory forensics is a technique used by information security professionals to investigate and detect breaches or malicious activities that leave no readily visible traces on hard disc data.
  • Mobile forensics: Mobile device forensics is a subset of digital forensics that primarily focuses on retrieving digital data or evidence from a device under specified conditions. The word “mobile device” most usually refers to phones, although it may also allude to any digital device with internal memory and communication capabilities, such as PDAs, GPS devices, and tablet PCs.
  • Network forensics: Unlike other fields of digital forensics, network investigations deal with volatile and dynamic data. As network traffic is sent out and subsequently lost, network forensics is often used as a proactive inquiry.

Techniques used by the Industrial Experts

Reverse steganography: 

Steganography is a data hiding technique , it consists of the dissimulation of secret information into digital files so that an intended recipient can extract it successfully. A reversible steganographic method allows to extract data from the file as well as to retrieve the cover file, both the secret information and the cover image are retrieved by the recipient.

Stochastic forensics:

Theft of intellectual property has been on the rise in recent decades but what makes it more harmful is the fact that it is very difficult to trace the thief since most of the time it is done by an insider who has access to the information. Stochastic forensics is a method to forensically reconstruct digital activity lacking artifacts by analyzing emergent properties resulting from the stochastic nature of modern computers.

Example:   In 2018, Zhang an Apple’s Research and Development organizations employee, with access to the project’s technical databases was accused of stealing confidential data from the company’s secret containing electrical schematics for a circuit board that contains Apple’s proprietary infrastructure of a self-driving car project.

It is in cases like these the method is proven to be most effective in identifying the culprit behind the theft.

Cross-drive analysis:

  It is an approach that is designed to allow an investigator to simultaneously consider information from across a corpus of data sources such as disk drives and solid-state storage devices. 

Live analysis:

The examination of computers from within the operating system using custom forensics or existing tools to extract evidence.

Deleted file recovery:

There are professional recovery tools used by data recovery specialists which enable them to recover files even when the drive has been re-partitioned and re-formatted.

Loopholes in the system

Lack of experts: 

According to estimations, there are mere 0.33 forensic experts for every 0.1 million people in India, for the task of examining crime scenes and preparing reports. However, depending on the workload of criminal investigations in different nations, the population ratio of forensic scientists in other countries ranges from 20 to 50 scientists per 0.1 million inhabitants. [6]

High rate of pending cases:

The present state of pending cases in 2021 is no better; the expected pendency of cases in India’s Forensic Science Laboratories is from 0.7 to 0.8 million cases. In these circumstances, the referral rate of cases to FSLs in India is approximately 10–12 percent of total crime recorded in various states. This percentage demonstrates not just the infrastructural falter, but also the government’s inadequacy to enact progressive laws that enable the prompt disposition of cases. [7]

Reliability of scientific evidence:

Several factors are subverting the reliability of scientific evidence in India, some of these can be listed as lack of scientific certainty, insufficient research arising due to meager resources, absence of a code of ethics, lack of certification of the experts, paucity of databases, and non-availability of error rate statistics for all the techniques. [8]

Increase in cybercrimes associated with a need for stronger infrastructure:

Since the nature of cybercrime is inherently dynamic, the present infrastructure becomes incompatible in resolving such cases.

Varied legislations:

Lack of single legislation that accommodates the provisions dealing with the subject of digital forensics.           

Transnational cybercrime activities:

Another challenge to digital forensics is the transnational nature of cybercrimes, which pose serious legal complications.

Nonetheless, the authors feel that the following suggestions can help the state navigate through the ever-evolving concept of digital forensics and narrow down the existing incompetenciess and find a “ way forward ”.

Way Forward

Capacity building : Conducting technical training sessions and coordinating the stakeholders to boost the number of competent investigators and judges.

Legislations: In order to establish forensic regulatory mechanisms in India, the Forensic Regulatory and Development Authority Bill must be passed immediately, which includes codes of conduct and ethics for the country’s forensic practitioners.

Education and research centers : In September 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, passed two Acts i.e., The National Forensic Science University (NFSU) Act 2020 [9] and Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) Act 2020 [10]. It provides for the establishment of regional institutions for education and research. In Gujarat, the NSFU has been created and several RRUs have been created in various cities like Gandhi Nagar, lavad, and dahegam. Many specialized centers should be established, offering a more solid platform for research and education. 

Implementation of recommendations : Various committees have been formed to evaluate the state of forensic science in India, and recommendations have been made, but most of them have remained on paper indefinitely. One such example is the recommendations made by the Justice Dr. V.S. Malimath Committee in March 2003, which is yet to be implemented. Such delays aggravate the pre-existing deficiencies in forensic systems.

[1] Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

[2] Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.

[3] Ram Singh v Col Ram Singh, 1985 (Supp) SCC 611.

[4] Indian Evidence (Amendment) Act, 2000.

[5] Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.

[6] Forensic Science International; Report, Volume-3, 100215, July 2021.

[7] Forensic Science International; Report, Volume-3, 100215, July 2021.

[8] J. Peterson, I. Sommers, D. Baskin, D. Johnson, The role and impact of forensic evidence in the criminal justice process, September 2010,https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/231977.pdf

[9] National Forensic Sciences University Act, 2020, NO.32, Acts of Parliament, 2020 (India).

[10] Rashtriya Raksha University Act, 2020, No.31, Acts of Parliament, 2020 (India).

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Law of Forensic Evidence in India and Abroad: A Comparative Study

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Student at Alliance University, India

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This paper discusses the standards of admissibility of forensic evidence in trials, as well as a comparative analysis of the principles of admissibility in four countries U.S.A, UK, Germany and India. First, various standards of evidence and their contents are tabulated, and then the concepts of admissibility such as validity, reliability, usefulness, and efficiency are addressed. The second issue discusses the laws of admissibility in the United Kingdom, including the relationship of the four admissibility tests, namely Assistance, Relevant Expertise, Impartiality, and Evidentiary Reliability, as well as the context of the Law Commission Report, Law Commission Recommendation, and Government Response. The third issue is Principles of Scientific Evidence in Germany, which examines parts and their contents in a tabular format. The admissibility of DNA evidence in Germany is then addressed separately. Finally, the standards governing the acceptance of scientific evidence in India are explored.

  • Forensic evidence
  • Admissibility
  • Expert evidence and Relevancy

Research Paper

Information

International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 2, Page 2879 - 2894

Creative Commons

forensic case studies in india

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright © IJLMH 2021

I. Introduction

The introduction of forensic science technology has resulted in dramatic technological advances in the decision-making process in criminal trials, but further research is needed to determine the precise role of forensic evidence in deciding the rate of prosecution and acquittal. It was also necessary to determine which types of forensic evidence could be used in which types of cases. What kind of proof is forensic evidence, i.e. is it considered substantive evidence or corroborative evidence? In what conditions did the court consider the forensic evidence? Is it usually the case that accepting forensic evidence results in a verdict, or has an acquittal been confirmed despite the acceptance of forensic evidence? In this sense, the perspectives of various superior courts on forensic science have been reviewed as that evidence is referred to in the decision-making phase in criminal proceedings. The conventional approach of the eyewitness-based criminal justice system has proven to be almost impossible for effective criminal prosecution. This form of criminal prosecution degrades the criminal justice system. It becomes impossible for judges to determine a criminal case or corroborate a fact-in-issue solely on the testimony of witnesses who might lie or be untrustworthy (because witnesses fail to appear on the dates fixed by the courts or might not be subject to the process of the court, which delays justice). Furthermore, after scrutinizing the in-chief and cross-examinations, the judges are unable to draw a definitive decision about the incident. Nowadays, witnesses fail to come to testify in court, even though they believe or have seen the evidence, for fear of being victim to suspects or assaults, which can be fatal. Many times, crimes are committed in such a way that simply obtaining a single witness is difficult. In other cases, the decision-making process in forensic cases is entirely based on circumstantial facts such as DNA evidence, ballistic analyst reports, fingerprints, or chemical analysis reports. Many heinous suspects are convicted or go free on the grounds of even the slightest suspicion due to a lack of conviction or sufficient proof. Furthermore, the prosecution pays a significant amount of money on court criminal proceedings. As a result, most public funds are lost in traditional prosecutions, and suspects are acquitted on the grounds of the benefit of the doubt. Crimes are now committed technically, and scientific crimes have arisen that can only be solved through forensic technology. To solve a cyber case, for example, cyber forensics must be used. The classification of crimes has also shifted from conventional to technical. Conventional crimes are often conducted in a scientific manner using computers, in which case cyber forensics is the only alternative. Intelligent criminals began to use science in their illegal activities, although investigators are no longer able to rely on the age-old art of investigation, source creation, and surveillance to identify crime. As a result, the criminal justice system cannot function without the assistance of forensic science or advanced technologies. The advancement in Forensic Science has presented law enforcement authorities and the courts with a valuable instrument. [2] A scientific investigation into the crime and the justice system, with the assistance of forensic evidence, effectively and accurately determines the criminal evidence of an accused. Scientific case solving with the assistance of forensic science has been embraced all over the world, and good police investigation can be accomplished with the aid of forensic science. The foundation of a criminal prosecution is largely dependent on criminal investigation. Scientific investigating with the assistance of forensic science is much more effective, accurate, and fruitful than the criminal justice system based on eyewitness testimony. An offender cannot be left at the hands of a bystander. But, except the Indian Evidence Act, which deals with expert evidence, there is no specific law on the admissibility of forensic evidence in court, so we normally rely on the rulings and judgments of the higher courts or the Apex Court.

(A) Literature Review

The Coming Paradigm Shift in Forensic Identification Science by Michael J. Saks and Jonathan J. Koehler in this book the author discussed the evidence of failures in proficiency tests and individual events undermine the method’s central principle of infallibility. Changes in the legislation governing the admissibility of expert testimony in court, as well as the advent of DNA typing as a model for a scientifically defensible solution to the issue of mutual identification, are propelling the older process into a new science framework.

Forensic evidence in Criminal Trial: Need of the Hour by Adarsh M. Dhabarde attempted to illustrate the importance of understanding forensic testing in criminal courts in light of evolving criminal tactics and the remarkable development in research in this area over the last few decades It has been reported that trials in India are performed with the assistance of two main criminal procedure rules, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which provide expert testimonies from Medical Practitioners and other experts.

Violations of Human Rights Through Scientific Techniques by Prarthana Banerjee Significant advancements in scientific techniques and their application in criminal investigations have also raised the important question of whether the mandatory administration of the three techniques (i.e. Narco-Analysis, Polygraph, and Brain Electrical Activation Profile) in criminal cases is legal under contemporary Indian law and whether it breaches human rights as well as fundamental rights.

The Role of DNA in Criminal Investigation – Admissibility in Indian Legal System and Future Perspectives by Dr. Nirpat Patel, Vidhwansh K Gautaman, Shyam Sundar Jangir the author in this article looked at the science of DNA detection and its use in criminal cases and prosecutions, such as criminal trials, lawsuits, and post-conviction proceedings. It emphasized the key benefits and costs of the growing role of DNA detection in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on India. DNA profiling is a system for determining people at the molecular level. In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations.

Medical Evidence v. Eye Witness Testimony by Anand Srivastava in this book the most plausible way to resolve the controversy between eyewitnesses and the medical proof is to increase the importance of medical evidence. Scientific techniques for detecting crime are constantly evolving and getting more reliable, adaptive, and precise. They can be seen. As a result, prosecutors and judges must become proficient in weighing contradictory expert facts and developing a harmonious construction of eyewitness testimony.

(B) Research Problem

Courts seem to be autonomous of their decision-making, but in fact, independence is based on a proper investigation. As a result, proving an argument without identifying the forensic materials is almost impossible. Previously, forensic experts measured pairs of markings to see how they fit and testified in court that whoever or whatever made one made the other. The method of comparing handwriting is still used in India, as mentioned in Section 73 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872. The experts’ evidence was scarcely called into doubt because cross-examination tended to overcome the forensic analyst’s conviction. According to research, there is a uniform change in Forensic Identification Science. The convergence of legal and scientific powers is driving radical progress in the conventional forensic identity sciences. The foundation of this field’s presumption regarding its distinctiveness has been undermined by evidence of mistakes in adeptness research and real cases. Reforms in the legislation governing the admissibility of specialist testimony in court, as well as the introduction of modern methods, are pushing the old techniques to meet a new requirement.

(C) Research Question

Whether forensic evidence in India aids Judicial Decision making?

(D) Hypothesis

In determining criminal cases, scientific investigation of crime with the aid of forensic science has greater evidentiary value than direct testimony.

(E) Scope & Objective

The objective of this essay is to examine whether scientific analysis of crime with the aid of forensic science has more probative importance than direct evidence in determining criminal cases, and the scope of the paper is limited to a comparative study of forensic evidence in four countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and India.

(F) Methodology

This paper is doctrinal research that employs primary sources like books and case laws, and secondary sources like journal articles.

(G) Existing Indians Laws

Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 deals with ‘expert opinion, where applicable.’ However, the expert’s opinion is admissible as proof only after it has been scrutinized under Articles 21 and 20(3) of the Indian Constitution, as well as Section 161(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Section 293 of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the conditions in which such findings of Government science consultants can be used as evidence. Sections 53 and 53A of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure are both very useful for DNA profiling of the convicted. The legislation about ‘fingerprints’ is expressly protected by several provisions of the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, Section 73 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and Section 293 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in addition to the general laws related to other forensic techniques. Toxicology rules are expressly addressed in some clauses alongside general laws. Section 284 of the Indian Penal Code imposes a penalty for “negligent acts concerning a toxic drug.” The Sale of Poisons Act of 1919 prohibits the importation of any prescription poison unless accompanied by a license and, by statute, limits the issuing of licenses. Psychotropic and narcotic medications.

II. Content

(A) Principles of Scientific Evidence Admitted By United States (Us) Courts

This chapter aims to examine how criminal trials involving forensic evidence are addressed by courts around the world. In the past decade, there has been a shift in the admissibility of factual facts in federal courts. [3] Frye v. the United States [4] was the first significant decision in the United States about the enforceability of scientific evidence. The Frye test consisted of two segments. Then, there is the theory or scientific technique, and then there is acceptance. The facets of the test were questioned for two reasons.

  • That there would continue to be a significant time gap before the scientific approach is embraced by the community.
  • That the scientific community is more trusted than the Court of Law. As a result, the Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted in 1975.

As a result, the Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted in 1975. “If science, technological, or other professional expertise will assist the trier of fact in understanding the facts or determining a fact in question, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, ability, experience, training, or education can testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise,” according to Rule 702. [5] However, the legislation did not resolve the controversy because it did not contain the Frye standard or make any mention of the general acceptance standard. So, in the landmark case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the United States Supreme Court established the rules. The court continued by stating that the Frye Rule was overridden by the Federal Rules of Evidence and that the strict general approval rule could not stand in the way of a fair minority scientific opinion in the case of recent and existing findings focused on credible studies. It also established factors for the basis of scientific evidence, known as The Daubert Guidelines. The below are the guidelines:

  • The scientific process should be used to assess the content of previously tested scientific testimony;
  • The procedure has been subjected to peer review, preferably in the form of publishing in peer review literature.
  • There are technical guidelines that are routinely and accurately followed, as well as proven or possible error rates for the technique.
  • Takes into account universal recognition in the related scientific community.

Eventually, in the Kumho Tire Case, [6] the Daubert Analysis was extended to scientific and advanced topics that do not fall into the heading of “science.” The Federal Rules of Evidence were amended in the year 2000, after the creation of the Daubert Guidelines. Scientific, technological, or advanced evidence (also known as “expert testimony”) is now admissible if: (a) the expert is qualified; (b) the expert’s testimony may help the jury decide issues in the case or understand the evidence, and (c) the expert’s testimony is centered on appropriate facts or data; is the product of valid rules and techniques; and if the expert demonstrates the facts of the case in trial. [7] As a part of this revolution, federal trial judges are now expected to act as so-called “gatekeepers” in civil and criminal courts and determine if expert testimony will be able to be considered by the jury before it lets the jury resolve questions in the case or understand the facts, according to Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. In Daubert, Justice Blackmun, majority opinion, expressed the Court’s belief in the quality of federal trial judges to serve as gatekeepers of the permissibility of scientific and technical evidence, ensuring that only eligible experts are permitted to testify on these issues, relying on sufficient facts or data, and appropriate methodology that has been properly applied to the facts of the case. He said, “When confronted with the proffer of expert scientific evidence, the trial judge must decide at the outset, according to Rule 104(a), whether the expert is proposing to testify to 1) scientific information that (2) would assist the trier of truth in understanding or determining a fact in dispute.” This involves deciding whether the argument or procedure behind the testimony is scientifically valid, as well as whether the rationale or techniques can be applied accurately to the facts at hand.

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer made the following statement on the role of science in court cases in the Joiner Case [8] , which addressed the constitutionality of experimental evidence: “In this age of science, science should hope to find a warm reception, maybe a permanent home, in our courtrooms.” [9] The reasoning is clear. The ideas and tools of science are constantly being used in court cases. The proper settlement of such cases is important not only to the litigants but also to the general population – those who live in our technologically diverse culture and whom the law is supposed to represent.

In two case laws, General Electric Co. v. Joiner and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, the Court expanded trial judges’ reach under Daubert by shielding their rulings from scrutiny, enabling them to accept findings rather than the only methodology, and expanding the gatekeeping position to non-scientific evidence. In joiner, the Court ruled that the appellate court could review trial judges’ Daubert admissibility judgments under the violation of discretion standard and that the trial court could reject evidence based on dissatisfaction with the experts’ assessments of studies instead of their procedures alone, because “conclusion and methodology are not entirely opposed.”

The Court in Kumho Tire case extended the Daubert analysis beyond scientific evidence to include “technical” and “other professional expertise” as specified by Rule 702. The Court backed this finding by pointing out the legislative language’s lack of differentiation, the fair award of discretion in testimony to non-scientific specialists, and the difficulties of identifying between “science” and “technical” or “other professional” expertise. The extension to Rule 702 in 2000 was the most recent advancement of federal admissibility review.

If the specialist claims to extend rules and procedures to the facts of the situation, this application must be carried out consistently. However, in some circumstances, it may be necessary for an expert to advise the fact finder on general principles without ever having to apply these theories to the particular facts of the case. For example, experts can advise the fact finder on thermodynamic principles or blood clotting principles without even knowing about or attempting to tie their evidence into the facts of the case. The amendment makes no changes to the long-standing practice of using expert testimony to educate the fact finder on broad principles. Rule 702 specifies the following for this kind of generalized testimony: 1) the expert is qualified; 2) the testimony presents a subject matter on which the fact finder may be supported by an expert; 3) the evidence must be authentic, and 4) the evidence must “fit” the facts of the case. [10]

III. Principles of Admitting Scientific Evidence by United Kingdom

The statute in England governing the admissibility of empirical facts differs significantly from that of the United States. According to the English precedential review, judges in the United States are hesitant to enforce certain strict criteria, such as the “reliability” test. The English courts continue to apply Lawton, L.J.’s standard common law measure of “helpfulness” in the well-known case of R vs. Turner. In England and Wales (common law) nations, the four conditions for expert opinion admissibility are (A) Assistance (B) Relevant expertise, (C) Impartiality, and (D) Evidentiary Reliability.

(A) Assistance

The leading case of Turner clarified the definition of “Assistance” by stating that an expert opinion “is admissible to provide the court with… evidence that is likely to be beyond the expertise and understanding of a judge or jury. If a judge or jury can draw their conclusions depending on the evidence, an expert’s opinion is irrelevant. Or other words, if the expert’s viewpoint is superfluous, it is inadmissible. [11]

(B) Relevant Expertise

The person who claims competence must be an expert in the relevant field. This point has been explained in the South Australian case Bonython. [12] According to the explanation, competence is a prerequisite that a person “has gained adequate knowledge of the subject by research or experience to make his [her] opinion of importance.” It has been proposed in R (Doughty) v Ely Magistrates Court [13] that the entry for portraying skills is not very high. The criteria can be interpreted as follows: first, the entry point may not be smaller than what is needed to support a fact on the balance of probabilities; second, laypeople are not able to have those forms of expert proof. Third, criteria for evaluating competence must be adopted that have been established for research fields.

(C) Impartiality

The proof provided by the specialist should be objective and purposeful. Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, said in Field v Leeds City Council [14] that for an expert to be “qualified to provide evidence as an expert,” he or she must be able to have an independent, impartial view on the matters to which his or her evidence relates. The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) recognized expert testimony in Tooth vs. Jarman [15] , holding that expert evidence can offer impartial assistance to the court in the form of objective unbiased judgment and that if an expert witness has a material or serious conflict of interest, the court is likely to fail to rule on his/her evidence.

This provision for common law admissibility has been introduced into Rule 33.2 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2010. It states that an expert has an overarching responsibility to provide impartial and unbiased opinion evidence.

(D) Evidentiary Reliability

Besides, the expert opinion proof must meet a criterion (entry) of satisfactory reliability. Aside from these, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has cited several common law admissibility provisions in various cases. They can be summarized as follows: Dallagher established that the area of specialization must be reasonably well established to pass the standard validity and reliability checks. [16] The admissibility of expert opinion testimony was quoted in Bonython, although it had not been thoroughly analyzed in England and Wales. [17] Gilfoyle proposed a different form of durability measure. [18]

This admissibility criterion was defined as follows in Bonython: “unless the subject matter of the [expert’s] opinion forms part of a body of knowledge or experience that is sufficiently assembled or recognized to be acknowledged as a valid body of knowledge or experience.” The common law reliability test for “expert proof of a factual nature” was affirmed by the court of appeals in Reed, although the court did not depart from the existing stance that there is no improved reliability test for such evidence. The Court of Appeal accepted the common law credibility test for empirical proof in Weller.

The Court of Appeal stated that it is the trial judge’s responsibility to decide if scientific expert testimony has a reasonably credible scientific background.

  • The Relationship between the Four Admissibility Test

The first aspect of the common law admissibility test known as “The Turner Test,” namely “Assistance,” guarantees that expert testimony can only be accepted where it has ample probative merit, which means that the evidence must assist the court in resolving a contested question. The second limb, “Relevant Expertise,” and the third limb, “Impartiality,” are intended to affirm that such expert testimony is admissible in criminal trials where a minimum threshold of general reliability, known as “reliability in the round,” is met. The fourth leg, known as “Evidentiary Reliability,” is intended to address issues beneath the expert’s view, such as his/her soundness in the area of expertise and methodology of any assumptions relied on.

  • Opinion Evidence and Evidence of Fact

In the United Kingdom, expert evidence is classified into two types: One is known as I Opinion Evidence, and the other as ii) Factual Evidence. Since much expert testimony is focused on opinion, special guidelines are needed to ensure that it informs instead of misleads, specifically in criminal trials dominated by expert evidence. However, an expert witness can be called to provide factual testimony. When a specialist is summoned to explain how an extraordinary piece of equipment works, or to provide evidence of a reading given by an instrument or a symptom detected during a patient examination. These are referred to as proof of fact because fact often implies facts. If the court orders some credible evidence, the first three limbs of the common law test must be extended in the same manner as the branches are applied to opinion evidence. The witness providing expert proof of truth can do so only if the court needs the expert’s support or support, the witness is an expert in the subject area, and the testimony presented by the witness is impartial. Although the expert Proof Of Fact is not protected by the common law rules summarized above in the case of Meads, it is claimed in “Phipson on Evidence” to choose the “Evidence Of Fact” as expert evidence where the level of competence available was of the most basic order.

IV. Principles of Admitting Scientific Evidence by German Courts

In Germany, the court must, in general, choose an expert who has been approved by a public-law agency at the state level. The body is known as ‘Kammern’ keeps a registry of those experts who are selected to prevent potential difficulties in the selection of an appropriate specialist in a particular field. However, depending on the situation and situations, the court can select experts other than those registered with the ‘Kammern,’ [19] which occurs regularly in practice. The public prosecutor frequently retains experts in the preliminary criminal investigation. During the trial hearing, the complainant will insist that the expert witness be able to testify. Such a motion by the defendant cannot be denied if the expert witness called by the defendant is demonstrably more competent than the expert held by the court. [20] The complainant can also call an expert into question on a variety of legal grounds. [21] Before being approved by a ‘Kammern,’ the specialist must go through a screening process that assesses his personal and technical abilities to draft reports as well as his level of competence. The accreditation is applicable for a period of five years.. The Kammern, for which accredited experts are registered, screens them daily. Their accreditation can be retained as long as they follow the standards. The most often used qualifications are above-average experience in a particular area, the ability to write an expert article, and the standards of impartiality and freedom. Both experiences, however, can be found in qualified experts. The German Federal Criminal Service and the numerous State Criminal Offices have extensive experience in areas such as DNA research. Expert registrations in Germany are not related to criminal proceedings.

The suitability of expertise in the subject field is one of the standards of admissibility of expert testimony in Germany. The principles of free assessment of proof regulate German evidentiary prosecutions. With a few constitutional exceptions, the court has complete jurisdiction over the admission and weighing of proof. German courts, in compliance with the standards of free assessment of proof, do not observe such evidentiary laws adhered to by US courts. In German courts, for example, hearsay testimony is admissible, and it is up to the judge to decide whether or not the evidence is compelling. The ‘opinion law,’ which prohibits lay witnesses from making truthful statements, and the ‘best proof rule,’ which requires original documents to prove the contents of the text, are not available in German courts. In Germany, judges actively participate in the collection of testimony, and the court’s decision on admissibility is final. Expert opinions are usually sent to the court in writing. Where necessary, the court summons the expert for a hearing to investigate particular aspects of the expert’s opinion.

(A) DNA Evidence in Germany

Blood sampling for genetic fingerprinting or DNA analysis was not legal in Germany until March 1997. The Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO) permitted the collection of blood samples from a victim for a criminal investigation. Originally, section 81a of the StPO was primarily used to determine the accused’s blood alcohol content in cases of traffic offenses, to determine criminal guilt at the time of the crime, and, in some cases, to determine the suspect’s ability to stand trial. The review of Section 81a of the StPO shows that the reason for which blood may be drawn is not defined, so collecting blood samples to collect genetic fingerprints was commonly accepted as legal within the police population. Even though the Federal Supreme Court and Federal Constitutional Court recognized section 81a as the adequate legal basis for the collection of blood samples for DNA review in criminal cases, constitutional and criminal law questions were posed by different industries. The draft amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, dated 2 March 1995, alleviated concern by expressly addressing the issue. The German Social Democratic Parliamentary Group (SPD) has proposed its draft code. StVAG 1997 was passed on December 6, 1996, based on previous drafts by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the SPD, but it was eventually vetoed because it did not specifically preclude the creation of gene databanks. Following that, in March 1997, the Parliamentary Act, which amended the halt, and the Administrative Offenses Act went into effect. [22]

V. Principles of Admitting Scientific Evidence by Indian Courts

The relevance theory governs proof admissibility in India. Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 deals with expert evidence. In Indian courts, the rules of admissibility state that proof can only be submitted of specific facts and facts in question. A fact can be true but not admissible, as in the case of historical testimony, where secondary evidence of a record may be provided only under such conditions. If it does not accommodate the legislative provision, a document may be relevant but not admissible. It is also possible if a text or an expert opinion is admissible whether it is original or otherwise, but because it is irrelevant, such documentation is not recognized by courts. As a result, the criterion for recognizing forensic evidence in India is relevancy and admissibility. Under the general principles of relevance,’ come durability, usefulness, and fitness, which are viewed as separate grounds in the United States. Assistance, applicable knowledge, impartiality, and evidentiary credibility, which are the principles for admitting expert testimony in the UK, both fall into the category of ‘relevancy.’

Sections 45 to 51 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 govern expert evidence law in India. In the case of Mahmood v. State of U.P ., [23] the Supreme Court described the term expert and stated that convicting anyone solely on the testimony of an expert would be extremely dangerous. While prosecution based on expert testimony is risky, Sections 53 and 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, require that expert evidence be used in such cases. In the case of Selvi vs. the State of Karnataka [24] , the Supreme Court ruled that compulsory administration of forensic techniques such as polygraphy, was unconstitutional if conducted without the accused’s permission, it violates Articles 20(3) and 21 of the Indian Constitution.

VI. Critical Analysis of Law on Forensic Evidence in India and Abroad

Frye, Daubert, and Kumho had played a major role in deciding the standard for the admissibility of expert testimony in US jurisdiction. Frye’s general approval test was the prevailing criterion for deciding the admissibility of new science facts from 1923 to 1933, and it insisted on two things: i) determining the appropriate scientific area to which the specific scientific technique belongs, and ii) whether the society approved the technique in question. In reality, this standard aided trial judges in deciding the authenticity of the proof. Before the Frye decision, the determinants of admissibility of scientific proof were in a pathetic condition. The Daubert case, decided by the United States Supreme Court, marked a watershed moment. In Daubert, the court overruled Frye’s general approval requirement as an exclusive standard in consideration of Federal Rules of Evidence requirements. The Court stated unequivocally that Frye’s general approval criterion was superseded by Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Proof. Furthermore, the Daubert court ruled that Rule 702 applies equally to both scientific and novel scientific facts. In a corresponding ruling by Joiner, the court explained the application of the Daubert conditions. The Joiner court ruled that an appeals court would investigate a trial judge’s ruling for wrongdoing. The Court has stated that when assessing the credibility of science data, trial judges should consider the findings based on a scientific technique’s methods. In another Kumho ruling, the court applied the Daubert factors to non-scientific expert testimony. As a result, in the year 2000, Congress changed the Federal Rules of Evidence to make the admissibility prong consistent with Daubert and Kumho. [25]

Between 1980 and 2000, the acceptance of factual evidence in the United Kingdom was at an all-time low. A large number of trials were settled without adequate evaluation, resulting in false prosecutions. The main issue in the United Kingdom seemed to be the failure to apply evidentiary standards such as continuity. The judges have acknowledged that the court has struggled to develop a consistent evidentiary principle for the admissibility of scientific proof. The court in R v. Gilfoyle [26] demonstrated interest in extending the durability test by invoking Frye’s general acceptance factor. Explaining that “…evidence based on an emerging new brand of research or medication is not admissible unless recognized by the scientific community as being capable of providing credible and authoritative opinion” is not admissible in the United States. Nevertheless, in a later ruling, R v. Dallagher, the court overturned its position by criticizing the observation in Gilfoyle. As a result, in the majority of cases, the court avoided using the reliability test as a standard; instead, the court used other standards dependent on the expert’s qualification.

Three significant cases have had their sentences overturned by the appellate court due to insufficient interpretation of factual evidence. They are Dallagher [27] , Clarke, [28] and Harris [29] . Considering the criminal law miscarriages of justice that existed in several recently settled cases, the United Kingdom Government appointed the Law Commission in 2009 to examine and deliver a report, which was submitted to Parliament in 2011, [30] as discussed above.

VII. Conclusion

This paper shows the standards upon which criminal prosecutions involving forensic evidence are handled by the judiciary. In the United States, when determining if expert testimony is admissible, the Judge must consider whether the evidence is valid, credible, effective, and appropriate. The criteria for admissibility of expert testimony in the United Kingdom (UK) are support, appropriate competence, impartiality, and evidentiary reliability. The suitability of expertise in the subject field is one of the standards of admissibility of expert testimony in Germany. The principles of free assessment of proof regulate German evidentiary prosecutions. With a few statutory exceptions, the court has complete jurisdiction over the admission and weighing of proof. German courts, in compliance with the standards of free assessment of proof, do not observe such evidentiary laws adhered to by US courts. In German courts, for example, hearsay testimony is admissible, and it is up to the judge to decide whether or not the evidence is compelling. The ‘opinion law,’ which prohibits lay witnesses from making truthful statements, and the ‘best proof rule,’ which requires original documents to prove the contents of the text, are not available in German courts. In Germany, judges actively participate in the compilation of testimony, and the court’s decision on admissibility is final. The relevance theory governs proof admissibility in India. The Indian Evidence Act of 1872 states that evidence should only be provided of specific facts and facts in question. A fact can be true but not admissible, as in the case of historical testimony, where secondary evidence of a record may be provided only under such conditions. If it does not fulfill the statutory clause, a text may be valid but not admissible. It is also possible if a text or an expert opinion is admissible whether it is original or otherwise, but because it is irrelevant, such documentation is not recognized by courts. As a result, the criterion for recognizing forensic evidence in India is significance and admissibility. In other words, if the forensic evidence satisfies the requirement of relevancy, it is assumed that it will satisfy the requirement of superior proof or have more probative merit, as stated in the hypothesis.

VIII. References

  • V.R. Dinkar, Scientific Expert Evidence (Eastern Law House, Calcutta, 1st edn., 2013).
  • Stephen Breyer, Introduction to Reference manual on scientific evidence (2nd edn., 2000).
  • Jyotirmoy Adhikary, DNA Technology in Administration of Justice (LexisNexis Butterworths, New Delhi, 2007.
  • Dr. M.P. Kantak, Dr. M.S. Ghodkirekar & Dr. S. G. Perni “ Utility Of Daubert Guidelines In India” 26(3) JIAFM 110 (2004).
  • R. v. Mark Dallagher [2002] EWCA Crim 1903.
  • R. v. Sally Clark [2003] EWCA Crim 1020.
  • R. v. Harris [2005] EWCA Crim 1980.
  • R v Gilfoyle [1996] 1 Cr App R 302, 315D-317G.
  • Selvi vs. State of Karnataka  2010 (7) SCC 263.
  • Mahmood v. State of U.P AIR 1976 SC 69.
  • Frye v. the United States 293 F.1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).
  • The Queen v. Bonython (1984) 38 SASR 45.
  • R. v. Mohan , [1994] 2 S.C.R. 9.
  • R (Doughty) v Ely Magistrates Court [2008] EWHC 522.
  • Field v Leeds City Council [2000] 1 EGLR 54.
  • Tooth v. Jarman [2006] EWCA Civ 1028, [2006] 4 All ER 1276.
  • Kumho Tire Company, Ltd. v. Carmichael , 526 U.S. 137 (1999).
  • General Electric v. Joiner , 522 U.S. 136 (1997).

2]   B.S. Nabar, Forensic Science In Crime Investigation (Asia Law House Hyderabad, 3rd edn., 2002)

[3] Paul W. Grimm, Chief Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, District of Maryland.

[4] Frye v. the United States 293 F.1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).

[5] Federal Rules of Evidence. 1975.

[6] Kumho Tire Company, Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999).

[7] Dr. M.P. Kantak, Dr. M.S. Ghodkirekar & Dr. S. G. Perni “Utility Of Daubert Guidelines In India” 26(3) JIAFM 110 (2004).

[8] General Electric v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997).

[9] Stephen Breyer, Introduction to Reference manual on scientific evidence (2nd edn., 2000).

[10] Rule 702 https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_702

[11] R v. Mohan [1994] 2 SCR 9, 10f (Canadian Supreme Court).

[12] The Queen v. Bonython (1984) 38 SASR 45.

[13] R (Doughty) v Ely Magistrates Court [2008] EWHC 522.

[14] Field v Leeds City Council [2000] 1 EGLR 54.

[15] Tooth v. Jarman [2006] EWCA Civ 1028, [2006] 4 All ER 1276.

[16] Dallagher [2002] EWCA Crim 1903, [2003] 1 Cr App R 12 at [29].

[17] [1984] 38 SASR 45 41.

[18] Gilfoyle (No 2) [2001] 2 Cr App R 5 at [25].

[19] Section 73 StPO

[20] Section 244 StPO

[21] Section 74 StPO

[22] Jyotirmoy Adhikary, DNA Technology in Administration of Justice (LexisNexis Butterworths, New Delhi, 2007.

[23]   AIR 1976 SC 69.

[24] 2010 (7) SCC 263.

[25] V.R. Dinkar, Scientific Expert Evidence (Eastern Law House, Calcutta, 1st edn., 2013).

[26] [2012]1 Cr App R 5.

[27]   R. v. Dallagher [2002] EWCA Crim 1903.

[28]   R.v. Clarke [2003] EWCA Crim 1020.

[29] R. v. Harris [2005] EWCA Crim 1980.

[30] The Law Commission, Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings in England and Wales.

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Top 5 Cyber Forensics Case Studies in India

  • February 16, 2021

Cyber forensic or computer forensic is important to find out of the cybercriminal. It plays a major role nowadays. As compare with normal forensics we cannot find any blood splatters, cloths, hairs, etc in cyber forensic cases. In cyber forensics we need to examine the computer or related things and identify the evidence from it. So, I am taking you to the 5 cyber forensic case studies.

Case no:1 Hosting Obscene Profiles (Tamil Nadu)

Here I am starting with a case which happened in Tamil Nadu. The case is about the hosting obscene profiles. This case has solved by the investigation team in Tamil Nadu. The complainant was a girl and the suspect was her college mate. In this case the suspect will create some fake profile of the complainant and put in some dating website. He did this as a revenge for not accepting his marriage proposal. So this is the background of the case.

Investigation Process

Let’s get into the investigation process. As per the complaint of the girls the investigators started investigation and analyze the webpage where her profile and details. And they log in to that fake profile by determining its credentials, and they find out from where these profiles were created by using access log. They identified 2 IP addresses, and also identified the ISP. From that ISP detail they determine that those details are uploaded from a café. So the investigators went to that café and from the register and determine suspect name. Then he got arrested and examining his SIM the investigators found number of the complainant.

The suspect was convicted of the crime, and he sentenced to two years of imprisonment as well as fine.

Case no:2 Illegal money transfer (Maharashtra)

The second case is about an illegal money transfer. This case is happened in Maharashtra. The accused in this case is a person who is worked in a BPO. He is handling the business of a multinational bank. So, he had used some confidential information of the banks customers and transferred huge sum of money from the accounts.

Let’s see the investigation process of the case. As per the complaint received from the frim they analysed and studied the systems of the firm to determine the source of data theft. During the investigation the system server logs of BPO were collected, and they find that the illegal transfer were made by tracing the IP address to the internet service provider and it is ultimately through cyber café and they also found that they made illegal transfer by using swift codes. Almost has been  The registers made in cyber café assisted in identifying the accused in the case. Almost 17 accused were arrested.

Trail for this case is not completed, its pending trial in the court.

Case no:3 Creating Fake Profile (Andhra Pradesh)

The next case is of creating fake profile. This case is happened in Andhra Pradesh. The complainant received obscene email from unknown email IDs. The suspect also noticed that obscene profiles and pictures are posted in matrimonial sites.

The investigators collect the original email of the suspect and determine its IP address. From the IP address he could confirm the internet service provider, and its leads the investigating officer to the accused house. Then they search the accused house and seized a desktop computer and a handicam. By analysing and examining the desktop computer and handicam they find the obscene email and they find an identical copy of the uploaded photos from the handicam. The accused was the divorced husband of the suspect.

Based on the evidence collected from the handicam and desktop computer charge sheet has been filed against accused and case is currently pending trial.

Case no:4 Intellectual property theft (Karnataka)

 Let see an intellectual property theft happened in software based company situated in Bangalore. The complainant complains that some of the company’s employs had used the company’s IT system and destoryed with the source code of the software under development.

As per the complaint received from the company the investigating team visit the company and scanned the logs of email. They found the IP address and using tracing software trace out the ISP and the address of the place where the email has been sent. This information leads the investigation to the Hyderabad based company. The investigation team went to that company and found 13 computers and a server, using specialized tools the disk were imaged and analysed by the team. The analysis revealed that the original source code and its tampered version had been stored from the system.

Based on the collected evidence the investigation has completed and arrested the accused. Case is in its final stage waiting for the opinion report from C-DAC.

Case no:5 Hacking (Karnataka)

Here is the fifth case which is a hacking case it happened in Bangalore Karnataka. In this case the complainant receives the obscene pornographic material at her email address and mobile phone. She also stated that she had a doubt somebody has hacked her accounts.

The investigating team analyse the mail received by the suspect, and they sent message to different email using complainant email address. Subsequently the investigating team was able to identify the ISP address of the computer system and it was also tracked on an organisation in Delhi from its server logs, through this log they get to know about the system from which the obscene material was sent. Using disk imaging and analysing tool the email were retrieved from the system.

Conclusion:

On the basis of the collected evidence the accused was arrested. The case has been finalised and currently pending administrative approval.

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forensic case studies in india

Noida, Feb 16 (PTI) The forensic reports of samples collected from a suspected rave party linked to a prominent YouTuber have been confirmed as venom of snake species, officials of the Noida Police said on Friday.

The samples were sent to a forensic laboratory in Jaipur, Rajasthan shortly after the November 3, 2023 incident and their results were received by the police here a few days ago, an officer privy to the probe said.

“The results of the forensic reports of the sample have confirmed that the substances found from the party spot were indeed venom of cobra and krait species of snakes as was suspected initially in the case,” the officer told PTI.

Six people, including YouTuber Elvish Yadav, were booked under provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and IPC Section 120A (criminal conspiracy) for allegedly providing snake venom for the suspected rave party at a banquet hall in Noida’s Sector 51 on November 3 last year.

While five of those named in the FIR were arrested, Yadav was questioned in the matter but not arrested. According to police, Yadav, who was not present at the party, is being investigated on charges of providing venom for the event.

After his name cropped up in the case, the 26-year-old YouTuber took to social media to refute the charges against him, dubbing them “baseless, fake and not even 1 per cent true”.

In its probe, the veterinary department here found that venom glands were missing in all nine snakes, including five cobras, that were rescued on November 3 from the possession of the accused persons, Dr Nikhil Varshney, who headed the probe committee, had told PTI.

“Also, teeth were missing in eight of the nine snakes that were rescued,” according to Varshney.

BJP leader and PFA chairperson Maneka Gandhi had also slammed Yadav in the wake of the case and called for his arrest.

“He (Elvish Yadav) has escaped for now but his arrest should definitely take place,” Gandhi had told reporters. PTI KIS NB NB

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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Picture of lung cancer appearing red on a medical scan like an X-ray

Drug offers ‘wonderful’ breakthrough in treatment of asbestos-linked cancer

Medicine used alongside chemotherapy in trials quadrupled three-year survival rates for mesothelioma

Scientists have developed a drug to treat mesothelioma, a notoriously hard-to-treat cancer linked to asbestos, in the biggest breakthrough in two decades.

Thousands of people are diagnosed with the disease globally every year, which tends to develop in the lungs and is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos at work . It is aggressive and deadly, and has one of the world’s worst cancer survival rates.

Now scientists are hailing the “truly wonderful” arrival of a new therapy, which they say should offer fresh hope to those with the disease and their families.

In an international trial spanning five countries, led by Queen Mary University of London, a new drug that cuts off the tumour’s food supply quadrupled three-year survival rates. The results were published in the journal JAMA Oncology .

“This trial has changed the lives of people with mesothelioma, allowing us to live longer,” said one of the patients who benefited from the drug. The 80-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, won compensation from his former employer after being exposed to asbestos in a factory in the 1970s.

He was given four months to live, but thanks to the trial is still alive five years later. “I have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren now – I wouldn’t want to miss all that,” he said.

The breakthrough is significant, experts say, because mesothelioma has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer. The new drug, ADI-PEG20 (pegargiminase), is the first of its kind to be successfully combined with chemotherapy in 20 years.

The trial involved patients from the UK, US, Australia, Italy and Taiwan, and was led by Prof Peter Szlosarek at Queen Mary. Each received chemotherapy every three weeks for up to six cycles. Half were also given injections of new drug, while the other half received a placebo for two years.

Among the patients included in the final analysis were 249 people with pleural mesothelioma – when the disease affects the lining of the lungs. They had an average age of 70.

The study, known as the ATOMIC-meso trial, was conducted at 43 centres in the five countries between 2017 and 2021. Those who received pegargiminase and chemotherapy survived for an average of 9.3 months, compared with 7.7 months for those who had the placebo and chemotherapy, according to the results published in JAMA Oncology.

The average “progression-free survival” was 6.2 months with pegargiminase-chemotherapy, compared with 5.6 months among patients who had the placebo and chemotherapy.

“In this pivotal, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial in 249 patients with pleural mesothelioma, pegargiminase-chemotherapy increased significantly the median overall survival by 1.6 months and quadrupled the survival at 36 months compared to placebo-chemotherapy,” the authors wrote.

“Pegargiminase-based chemotherapy was well tolerated with no new safety signals.”

The breakthrough follows two decades of work by Szlosarek, after his original discovery that mesothelioma cells lack a protein called ASS1, which enables cells to manufacture the amino acid arginine.

This knowledge was used to develop the drug. ADI-PEG20 works by depleting arginine levels in the bloodstream. For tumour cells that cannot manufacture their own arginine, this means their growth is thwarted.

“It’s truly wonderful to see the research into the arginine starvation of cancer cells come to fruition,” said Szlosarek. “This discovery is something I have been driving from its earliest stages in the lab, with a new treatment, ADI-PEG20, now improving patient lives affected by mesothelioma.”

Dr Tayyaba Jiwani of Cancer Research UK, which funded the research alongside the biotechnology company Polaris Group, said: “This study shows the power of discovery research which allows us to dig deep into the biology of mesothelioma to uncover vulnerabilities that we can now target with ADI-PEG20.”

Liz Darlison, chief executive of the charity Mesothelioma UK, said: “The UK mesothelioma community, including doctors, nurses, patients and families living with mesothelioma, are extremely proud of ATOMIC. It offers another much-needed treatment option and, above all, hope to those living with mesothelioma.

“We look forward to seeing this treatment become available as a standard option to all patients in the future.”

  • Cancer research
  • Medical research
  • Queen Mary, University of London

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