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CHAPTER V                            ,



[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 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.