CHAPTER V , T V EXAMINATION OF BLOOD AND SEMINAL STAINS, AND HAIR [By RAT BAHADUH K. N. BAGCHI, B.SC, M.B. (Cal.), DT.M. (Cal. & L'pool), F.I.C. (London), Late Chemical Examiner to the Government of Bengal] BLOOD STAINS Blood stains may be found on the garments or on the person of the suspected assailant or of the victim, as well as on weapons, tools, clubs, articles of furniture, leather goods, stones, plaster, earth, mud, grass, etc. In fact every conceivable article is collected and forwarded by the police for the detection of blood in the stains which may be of various kinds and shades of colour. The examination of all kinds of stains in this country is left entirely with the Chemical Examiners attached to the State Governments and the determination of the source of blood is chiefly the work of the Imperial Serologist at Calcutta, who is also the Chemical Examiner to the Government of India. According to the existing order of the Government of India, the State Chemical Examiner should, in the first instance, examine the article to see if the suspected stains are due to blood or something else. If he is satisfied that they are due to blood, it is his duty to forward the cuttings where blood was actually detected or the entire article, if thought necessary, to the Imperial Serologist for serological tests. The police or the trying magistrate should, on no account, forward any exhibits having sus- pected blood stains direct to the Imperial Serologist. In^a case of homicide where an individual is arrested on suspicion, the medical officer is often asked by the police not only to examine the nails of the arrested individual but to cut the nails carefully, to collect them together and to keep them properly packed and sealed in his custody till he receives intimation from the trying Magistrate to forward the same to the Chemical Examiner. But it must "be remembered that no medico-legal value is attached to the evidence of blood found on or under The nail parings, inasmuch as human nails are used for scratching purposes and, therefore, if a pimple, an eczematous patch, ringworm, lichen or prickly heat or any other skin disease is scratched, the nails will naturally draw blood which will remain inside them. Moreover, there is great possibility of drawing blood from the living tissue whether the nail paring is performed by a sharp instrument or a blunt instrument, and the blood thus drawn will contaminate the instrument which will convey it from one finger to another. In the case l of K. E. v. Ujaghar Singh and others tried in the High Court of Lahore it was held that the evidence of blood-stained nails was not only of no value but might be extremely danger- ous to innocent persons. Giving such evidence as corroborating an approver or as circumstantial evidence connecting an accused person with homicide might lead to the miscarriage of justice. Nevertheless, the American Courts Martial held at Ipswich in England on January 19, 1944, convicted one Leatherbery of having murdered Hailstone by throttling from the evidence of the presence of human blood found under his finger nails.2 All investigating police-officers are instructed to dry thoroughly all| articles of clothing, etc. having suspected blood stains before being sent to! the medical officer for transmission to the Chemical Examiner. Exposure to the open air for a couple of hours will be sufficient in dry weather. Drying before a fire may be necessary in the rains, but, when doing so, 1. 40 Criminal Law Jour., July 1939, p. 576. 2. Francis Edward Camps, Medico-Leg. Jour., Vol. XVII, Part I, 1949, p. 2.