In criminal proceedings, especially in India, medical evidence is essential for identifying the accused and establishing their guilt. This type of evidence is regarded as being extremely relevant in the legal system and is based on the scientific knowledge, expertise, and firsthand experience of medical professionals. The applicability and acceptability of expert medical views in court are outlined in the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872. Despite being corroborative, medical evidence is very important when assessing things like the victim’s or accused’s mental state, injuries, and cause of death. It is crucial to remember that the court has the authority to accept or reject the advice of expert medical witnesses.

Criminal investigations greatly benefit from the use of a variety of medical evidence types, including autopsy reports, bloodstains, DNA tests, handwriting, fingerprints, Photography and narcoanalysis tests.

Furthermore, the significance and function of medical evidence in legal proceedings have increased due to developments in scientific approaches and procedures. Medical evidence has significant probative value in situations involving crimes against women and deaths and can confirm or refute eyewitness accounts. Medical evidence is crucial in resolving inconsistencies between testimony and medical results, and courts may prioritise it over

oral testimony in certain situations. In criminal justice, medical evidence is considered invaluable, and the proficiency of medical practitioners is crucial in furnishing factual and scientific backing to judicial trials. Thus, the combination of medical data and professional opinions significantly contributes to the fair administration of justice in criminal cases.

What is the role of medical evidence in criminal cases in India, and how does it contribute to identifying the accused and establishing guilt?

key contributions:

1. Identifying the Accused: By connecting the accused to the victim or the crime scene, medical evidence such as DNA testing, bloodstain analysis, and forensic investigations can assist in identifying the accused. For instance, DNA testing can provide vital identifying evidence by matching biological evidence discovered at the crime scene to a particular person.

2. Determining the Cause of Death or Injury: Determining the cause of death or injury is a crucial function of medical evidence, as it plays a pivotal role in proving the culpability of the accused. To determine the type and amount of injuries or the reason for death, autopsy reports, medical exams, and forensic analysis help supply vital evidence for legal procedures.

3. Corroborating Eyewitness Testimonies: In criminal proceedings, medical evidence can either confirm or refute eyewitness testimony. It supports the oral testimony or reports of the crime with scientific and factual evidence, helping to build a strong and convincing case against the accused.

4. Proving Particular Aspects of the Crime: Medical evidence is crucial in establishing the specifics of crimes against women, including rape and sexual assault, as well as the type of injuries sustained and the victim’s physical trauma. Critical information about the precise components of the crime and the degree of injury caused can be established with the help of medical evidence.

5. Supporting the prosecution’s assertions: The prosecution’s medical evidence, which includes forensic analysis, autopsy reports, and expert medical views, can support its assertions about the circumstances surrounding the crime. It supports the prosecution’s case with scientific evidence, bolstering the case against the accused in court.

In criminal cases in India, medical evidence is crucial in supporting the judicial proceedings with scientific and factual proof. It helps in identifying the defendant, determining the reason for the damage or death, verifying the accounts of eyewitnesses, demonstrating particular aspects of the offence, and bolstering the prosecution’s arguments. Thus, in criminal trials in India, medical evidence plays a major role in determining guilt and in the just administration of justice.

Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872

The Indian Evidence Act of 1872’s Section 45 addresses the applicability of experts’ opinions on particular topics. According to this, “The opinions of persons who are especially skilled in such foreign law, science, or art, or in questions as to the identity of handwriting or finger impressions, are relevant facts when the Court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, science, or art.” This section deals with cases when the court must decide on issues requiring specialised knowledge and experience in foreign law, science, the arts, or subjects like finger impressions or handwriting identification. In such circumstances, the opinions of those with specialised training and knowledge in the pertinent field are deemed pertinent and acceptable as evidence to support the court’s decision-making. To help the court comprehend and form opinions on subjects requiring technical skill, Section 45 recognises the relevance of expert views from people with specialised knowledge in particular fields.

Who Is An Expert?

An “expert” is a person who has acquired knowledge through experience and is recognised as such. Although witnesses are typically forbidden from speaking about their thoughts or beliefs, their opinions are not relevant to court investigations. However, in some rare cases, they might be allowed to speak in certain circumstances that call for a specialised understanding of the relevant subject. When it comes to matters, the opinion of someone with specialised knowledge, expertise, or training is acceptable. proof. In a criminal case, an expert’s opinion makes up a very small portion of the total evidence that a judge will choose to consider.

Medical Evidence And Scientific Techniques

Investigative authorities also use scientific procedures and medical data to establish the defendant’s guilt. Medical scientific evidence can be very helpful in identifying and establishing an accused individual’s guilt, especially in light of recent scientific advancements. Scientific evidence is difficult to refute in court.

In addition, courts have to decide when scientific expert testimony is appropriate to be admitted. The court may not accept scientific evidence if the nature of the question posed to it makes it unnecessary to gather such evidence.

Medical evidence is, therefore, not direct evidence. “Medical Evidence” is defined as testimony from a medical expert based on their training, experience, and understanding of science (International Journal of Applied Research, n.d.). However, until they are cross-examined and allowed as evidence in court, such expert opinions are just that—opinions. The opinion of a medical professional cannot supersede the evidence of a credible, independent witness.

Medical Evidence And Ocular Evidence

The opinion of a medical expert cannot supersede the evidence of an independent, trustworthy witness. If there is a disagreement between the two, medical evidence takes precedence. Medical evidence can be helpful if it contradicts other oral accounts on the nature of the attack, the type of weapon used, the type of injury produced, the projected duration, etc.

If a significant part of the case cannot be credibly articulated, it is sufficient to undermine it entirely. Therefore, the mere fact that eyewitness testimony conflicts with medical evidence does not warrant its rejection. If the witness is believable, medical evidence to the contrary is not admissible.

In Brij Bhushan v. State of U.P. (1957), the court has ruled that, in appropriate cases, it can reach its conclusion that the medical evidence is insufficient, given the nature of the injury and other relevant evidence.


  1. In a criminal trial, the judge issues the proper verdict after the prosecution provides proof of the defendant’s guilt.
  2. Expert testimony, or proof of competence, is a significant similarity between these two of her techniques.
  3. This testimony, which was provided to the court by professionals like medical specialists, ought to be taken very seriously.
  4. Healthcare providers need to be highly valued.

According to the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, medical evidence may be regarded as corroborative evidence in India. Medical evidence is regarded as opinion evidence and is a crucial component of the evidence, particularly when it comes to crimes against women.

The government of the nation has set up laboratories, and other organisations offer scientific services related to criminal justice because expert opinion is crucial in criminal trials. As a result, scholars can at last conclude that witnesses and evidence are crucial to ensuring justice and have a significant role in the legal system.

The judge renders a verdict with the assistance of the evidence. The most crucial element in deciding whether a verdict favours the prosecution or the defence is the evidence that the court hears.

Adv Khanak Sharma (D\1710\2023)

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