Indian History of Forensic Science

The history of forensic science is thousands of years old. Many people believe that “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” has made forensic famous a lot by his fiction Character “Sherlock Holmes”.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the famous Sherlock Holmes novel and stories was a Scottish physician, who has been acknowledged for his significant contribution in the field of forensic science due to his elaborated use of methods such as fingerprints, serology, ballistics, trace evidence, handwriting analysis, and footprints, etc. way back before they were commonly used by actual legal enforcements. In his first novel “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) he demonstrated his method of inference and deduction in relation to crime scene and criminal profiling.

According to the historical findings Archimedes is considered as the father of forensic science. After examining the density and bounce of the gold crown, he found that it was not made of gold.

In 7th Century an arabic merchant named as Soleiman used fingerprints as a proof of validity between debtors and lenders.

In seventh century BC, Maharshi Charaka wrote an Indian Medicine Treatise: “Charak Samhita”. Charaka Samhita is considered to be the most ancient treaties on Ayurveda available till now which have been authored about the seventh century BC. Although Charak paid attention to all aspects of medicine, including the rationale and philosophy behind the Indian medicinal system, he laid special emphasis on the diagnosis of the disease and their treatment . He also elaborated on topics like fetal formation and development, the anatomy of the human body and body functions and defects with the classification of various diseases.


Father of Forensic Medicine (Indian forensic Medicine)

Father of Plastic Surgery/Surgery

He is the writer of Sushruta Samhita. The Sushruta Samhita presents the field of Ayurvedic surgery (shalya) dealing with the practice and theory of surgery around the sixth century BC. Susruta is, also, renowned as the father of plastic surgery. He also wrote about various poisons and their treatments in his book which contains a separate chapter on toxicology. He classified poisons into:

(1) Plant poisons

(2) Animal poisons, and

(3) Artificial poisons

As it stated in researches use of forensic science first started in China very long back around 7th century. They used fingerprints to keep the document identified and clay sculptures. Fingerprint marks have been used as signature identification for illiterate people since centuries.

Kautilya has mentioned about study of pupillary lines pattern in his book ‘Arthashastra’ thousands years ago. Because of uniqueness of fingerprints, it was common to use as identification. It may be presumed as they used fingerprint as a signature. The seventh chapter of the fourth book of Arthashastra deals with the concept of criminal investigation. He also mentioned Modus operandi of criminals.

A book titled as “Ming Yuen Shih Lu” has also mentioned use of fingerprint in the earlier period around 6th century in China.

Indian studied various patterns of papillary line thousands year ago.

The First Chemical Examination Laboratory Was Established In Chennai In 1849.

In 1853, The Second Chemical Examination Laboratory Established In Kolkata.

3rd Chemical Examination Laboratory Is Established In Agra In 1864.

4th Chemical Examination Laboratories Established In 1870 In Mumbai.

Anthropometry Bureau was first established in Kolkata in 1892.

First explosive examination laboratory was developed in Nagpur in 1898.

The first Government Examiner of Questioned Document is established in Bengal in 1904 and shifted to Shimla in 1906.

The first Central Finger Print Bureau (CFPB) in India was established in 1905 at Shimla.

Establishment of Serology Department by Dr. Hankin in Kolkata in 1910.

During the year 1915, a Footprint Section was established under the CID, Government of Bengal.

In 1930, an Arms Expert was appointed and a small ballistic laboratory was set up under the Calcutta Police to deal with the examination of firearms.

The first state forensic science laboratory in India was established in the year 1952 at Calcutta.

Central detective training school at Calcutta was established during 1956.

Fingerprint bureau also established in Kolkata in 1957 by Khan Bhadur Aziz ulla haq and Ray Bahadur Khem Chandra Bose.

The first Central Forensic Science Laboratory was established at Calcutta during 1957.

The Indian Academy of Forensic Sciences (IAFS) was established in the year 1960.

BPR&D established the first Forensic DNA Typing facility at CFSL, Calcutta, during 1998.

For detailed History of Forensic Science Buy the Book- “A closer Look On Forensic Science

Written by Archana Singh.

Source :A Closer Look On Forensic Science written by Archana Singh


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