►Document (Under Sec 29 IPC ) is defined “ as
any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means
of letters , figures or marks, or by more than one of those means,
intended to be used, or which may be used, as evidence of that
►Questioned Document is one in which document in
its entirely or in part is subject to question as to
authenticity and/ origin or any document who’s
authenticity is in doubt.
Domains of Questioned Document
Age Of Ink
and printers Charred
⮚ It is a product of neuromuscular activity which follows a pattern
acquired by a person during his course of life which is highly
individualistic to that person.
⮚ Handwriting of a person in his writing , may be alphabets,
words, digits or figures written in some script.
⮚ The usual material is paper but it can be other material such as
wooden thin plank pieces or stone slates, plastic sheets , glass sheet,
cloth pieces, walls, rocks , etc.
⮚ Writing is a complex process and needs lot of efforts and practice to
learn and to perfect it. However , once the skill is acquired, the
normal writing becomes an automatic sub-conscious act. The brain
initiates the process and body parts : The fingers, hand , wrist and
forearm execute it.
►The word ‘Forensic’ means pertaining to law.
►‘Handwriting forensics’ is relating to issues involving evaluation
of disputed handwriting. The concerned parties claim and counter
claim for the valid or forged nature of writings on the disputed
►It uses scientific tools and techniques to evaluate the handwriting,
which provides evidence about the genuine or forged nature of the
► Scribbling/Drawing: A Permanent record or
picture of their ideas is created by scribbling
with usually crayons or pencil on unlined paper
or many times on walls, floors etc.
► Letter like forms and shapes: They try to
include some shapes, symbols and other figures
in their writings.
► Cursive Writing/ Copy book
form: He doesn’t have
handwriting of his own because
he is creating artistic
representation by learning the
cursive/copy book form .
► Letter /Spaces: Now the child
points on each word on page
while reading and slowly tends
to write in his own way.
► Gradually he gets
formations and now
draws them by
memory . This is
comes and he makes
his own way of
creating his own
master pattern .
Principles of Handwriting
► No two writers can write exactly alike.
► If deterioration is seen, it is seen throughout the document and not just in one
► A writer cannot exceed his maximum writing ability or the skill without serious
effort or training applied over a period of time.
► Attempted disguise always leads to an inferior quality.
► Natural Variations are part of a persons handwriting.
constraints, circumstantial, literacy and
education, imitation, surface and texture
of writing surface, type of pen, available
spacing, physical environment, etc.
►Intrinsic: Physical health,
muscular control and co-ordination, age,
mental health, nervous temperament,
temporal states/ substance abuse,
genetic factors, etc.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HANDWRITING
Class Characteristics :The characters that are common to a group of
people are called as class characteristics.
► Serve just to narrow the comparison when comparing a questioned document to
standard writing systems.
Individual Characteristics : These characters that are highly specific
to an individual .
► The combination of various individual characteristics forms his/her MASTERN
A skill of a writer is how a person writes without any external support . It
can be clumsy, artistic, forceful etc.
► SLANT /SLOPE :
Angle made by the
characters with the
The Slant can be
backward or vertical .
► SPACING : It includes spacing between two letters, two words , two lines
and two paragraphs.
► SPEED : It is how fast or slow a person writes. It can be fast , medium and
► SIZE: It is the size of letters/characters . It can be large , medium and small.
► SHADING: It is usually observed in fountain pen . The more pressure
applied thicker will be the stroke.
► RHYTHM: How fluently a person writes.
► ALIGNMENT: The arrangement of characters with respect to the baseline.
It can be descending , ascending
► LINE QUALITY :It is the degree of connectivity/uniformity of
strokes. In genuine writings, the line quality is smooth whereas in
forged it has frequent pen pauses, pen lifts, retouchting etc.
► MOVEMENT :It can be finger movement(Detached form).
Wrist movement ( Curvatures in writing)
Forearm : (Doctor’s writing)
Whole arm :( While writing on Blackboard )
► PEN PAUSE
► PEN LIFT
► PEN PRESSURE
► PICTORIAL EFFECT
► Section 463 IPC: “Whoever makes any false
documents or false electronic record or part of a
document or electronic record, with intent to
cause damage or injury, to the public or to any
person, or to support any claim or title, or to
cause any person to part with property, or to
enter into any express or implied contract, or
with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be
committed, commits forgery.”
►Making of a false document or part of a document
dishonestly or fraudulently to support any claim or title
► The word Guise means external appearance. Disguise
means modification of external appearance to conceal
the real original appearance (Identity ) of the entity.
► Also known as Self forgery / Auto forgery.
Methods/Ways of disguising :
► Altered Writing Style
► Changed pictorial effect
► Altered Slant
► Change in Size
► Change in letter design
► SMS Language is used
Collection of samples
► Two types (Specimen/ Requested/Admitted and Questioned/Doubtful)
► Adequate material: All letters present in questioned are compared.
► Collected under section 73 IEA (Comparison of signature , writing or seal with others
admitted or proved).
► Time period
► Authentic documents
► Same script
► Maximum number of admitted samples written
► Within same time period
► Having reliable source
► Same writing instrument
► Same mental and physical condition
Marking a document
⮚ Questioned: Encircled and marked as Q1, Q2, Q3,….
⮚ Standard: Encircled and marked as S1, S2, S3,….
⮚ Marking distinctively: segregating disputed portion of text from the
Care and Handling a document
► The document when questioned about its genuineness, it should be handled and cared for in a manner
that will not impair in the slightest degree its value as evidence.
► Should be preserved in the condition exactly it was in when first suspected.
► Should not be cut, torn or in any manner mutilated in the slightest degree.
► Should not be touched with an eraser, pen, pencil or any sharp instrument.
► Should not be folded in any new places. Avoid unnecessary folding and unfolding.
► No chemicals to be applied without prior permission.
► Do not mark on questioned documents with instruments of any sorts.
► Should not come in contact with any sharp measuring instruments (dividers).
► Should not be exposed to moisture, strong sunlight or left out in air uncovered.
► Should never be carried in the pockets to avoid getting affected by bodily heat or moisture, sweat, or
getting worn, wrinkled, soiled, etc.
Problems faced by Forensic Document Examiner
► Lack of Forensic Knowledge amongst non-forensic people.
► Short sample size and length
► Unavailability of original documents
► Unavailability of ink data base
► Comparison of handwriting from different languages
Few laws and Sections related to Questioned
►IPC (Indian Penal Code) :
❑ Sec 29 Document
❑ Sec 463 Forgery
❑ 489A :Counterfeiting currency notes or bank notes
❑ 489B: Using as genuine , forged or counterfeit currency or bank notes
❑ 489C: Possession of forged or counterfeit currency or bank notes
❑ 489D:Making or possessing instruments or materials for forgoing or counterfeiting
currency notes or bank notes.
❑ 489E : Making or using documents resembling currency notes or bank notes.
CrPC (Criminal Procedure Court) :
❑ Sec 292: Evidence of Officers of Mint
IEA (Indian Evidence Act):
❑ Sec45 : Expert Witness
❑ Sec 46:Facts bearing upon opinion of experts
❑ Sec 47 :Opinion as to handwriting when relevant
❑ Sec 137 : Examination in chief
❑ Sec 138 : Order of examination