Medical Evidence in forensic science

Medical Evidence in forensic science means and includes:

(1) all statements which the Court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under inquiry.

(2) All documents produced for inspection of the Court.

For the evidence to be accepted by the Courts, it must be properly identified as to what it is, and where it was found. The evidence of eyewitnesses is positive and that of doctor or an expert is only an opinion which is corroborative.

Type of medical evidence

(1) Documentary medical evidence

It includes all documents produced for the inspection of the Court. Document means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, which may be used for the purpose of recording that matter (Section.29, I.P.C.). Sections 61 to 90 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, deal with documentary evidence.

The contents of the documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence (Section.61, I.E.A.). Primary medical evidence means the document itself produced for inspection of the Court (Section.62, I.E.A.). Documents must be proved by primary proof except in certain cases (Section.64, 1.E.A.).

Medical Evidence

Secondary evidence means, certified copies, copies made from the original by mechanical processes, copies made from or compared with the original, oral account of the contents of a document (Section.63, I.E.A.). Proof must conform to the matters in issue, and is admitted on the basis of relevance and admissibility.

(2) Oral medical evidence.

(3) Direct medical evidence

Proof of a fact which is actually in issue, e.g., an electric blanket that has caused injury, prescription, or a consent form.

(4) Indirect or Circumstantial medical evidence

It is not the direct testimony of an eye witness, but has a bearing upon the fact of the other and subsidiary facts which are relied upon as consistent (Section.6. I.E.A.), e.g., in case of alleged murder of A by B at certain place on a particular day and time, the circumstantial proof would be that C saw B with a knife on that day at that place, a few minutes before the murder. Circumstantial evidence requires the Court to draw logical or reasonable inferences from the information presented.

(5) Hearsay medical evidence

It is any statement made by any person about what he did not personally witness, or proof he obtained from a third party, which is presented in the Court in order to assert that the facts contained in the statement are true, e.g., A gives evidence in the witness box stating that B had informed him that he had seen C committing a crime. In such case direct evidence can be given only by B that he had seen C committing a crime.