Principle of Progressive Change and its Relevancy in Criminal Investigation

As quoted by US Congress resolution 2009, “If criminal evidences are not objectively tested, analyzed and interpreted by adequate scientific methods, the search for truth will potentially be compromised, if not defeated”

Change plays significant role in science as well as in the criminal investigation. It may alter a particular scenario in a different scenario. Science has developed with the occurrence change and in legal or criminal matters forensic science is the most important science which helps in understanding the mystery behind the crime scene. As not only crime scene, criminal or but also body of victim may decompose or change with the progressive change. Every contact exchanges its traces, when a criminal commits crime, he leaves many evidences like fingerprint, footprint etc, and these traces are used for connecting criminal to the crime. The investigation by investigating officers helps in observing the changes occurred at the place of crime.

Introduction

Investigation is the most important part of the criminal or civil case and the science used for solving criminal case is forensic science. Forensic is derived from the latin term ‘forensis’ which in ‘open court or public’ and forensic science is the methods, techniques, knowledge or discipline of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering or other sciences is applied for the investigation, evidence analysis or other legal matters. It plays major role in criminal investigation like robbery, rape, murder etc and crime has its existence since the presence of human.

Although forensic science in criminal investigation was identified in past but in present era forensic science is also plays an active role in civil investigations for example identification of the rewritten. The forensic science, its principles and criminal investigation is co related to each other. The laws or principles of forensic science is used to analyze the evidence, crime scene, traces etc for success of the criminal investigation or case. It has a great impact on a case as it recognizes the criminal case from the very starting that is the occurrence of crime to conviction of accused person. The principles of forensic science are as follows:

  • Locard’s Principle
  • Law of Exchange
  • Law of Progressive Change
  • Law of Exchange
  • Law of Comparison
  • Law of Probability
  • Law of analysis
  • Law of circumstantial facts

Principle of Progressive Change

As it is well said that change is inevitable or incapable of avoiding, the same quotation also applies on the objects or things and a particular object changes in a span of time like sample of DNA also degrade in a period of time, body of the victim also starts decomposing with the time, tyre marks also starts to vanish the span of time etc. With the progress in time the criminal who has committed the crime may make various changes in the crime scene if the crime scene is not managed properly, every crime scene has a unique mystery behind it. So at to understand the mystery it is necessary that the crime scene is managed and evidences found are preserved properly. For solving the case or the conviction of the accused is necessary, collected evidences, heir preservation of quantity and quality also plays a significant role. Failure of this may also cause disappearance of the accused person.

Law or principle of Progressive Change states that everything changes with the passage of time, so as that crime scene or place where the crime has been committed also changes with time to time or varies with time. Change in time is directly proportional to the change or variation in evidence collected, crime scene etc. This principle has an immense impact and relevance in the forensic science, like when there is:

  • Change in Crime Scene or where the crime has been committed, that place should firstly sealed with the warning tape of restricting or protecting anyone from entering the restricted area. As soon as possible crime scene should be searched and reconstructed by using various methods such as Line or Strip method, grid method, spiral method, wheel method, zone method etc. The crime scene should be properly investigated by the investigating officer through notes and sketch making of the crime scene, so that any further change can be easily observed by him.
  • As time can make tremendous changes to the object or evidence found, the investigation of that place and forensic science helps in handling the clues. Every single thing changes rapidly with the change in time. However every crime scene has some specialty and mystery. But the forensic science helps in understanding it, if the evidences are handled in a manner which would not cause harm or destroy.
  • For example in the case of rape the accuse may leave semen on the clothes, and if the struggle has happened between the victim and the accused the scratch marks may also be found on the body. Similarly if at crime scene, any evidence like semen, fingerprints, hair fiber, firearms, footprint, vomit, bullet, tyre marks o poison is found, then it must be collected and recorded. The alteration in time may decompose the practical or chemical identity of the object, so it is necessary that it should be examined as soon as possible without any delay. Also, micro evidences like fingerprints, blood, hair, footprint etc, should be collected first so that they do not lose any property.
  • Protection to the Crime Scene at the time of investigation is very important because it is necessary to protect the collected evidence material. So that any unauthorized person may not destroy or alter the evidence.
  • Not only crime scene, evidences collected changes with the change in time, but also criminal or accused person may also undergo in changes. If he is not stopped or caught as early as possible and not apprehended in time, then it might cause similar as well as many crimes, subsequently a scenario will come when he would not be recognized and will become unrecognizable. So, it is important that the criminal or accused is caught without any progression in time.

Sometimes there might be changes such as:

  • Social Change: As the world is changing from rural economy to modern or market economy. The literacy rate is gradually increasing with the increase of time and he awareness is also increasing. So, for investigation purpose traditional methods of investigation have also changed, as they are not relevant anymore because people are now aware about the approaches. Therefore, the investigation using forensic science is used.
  • Technological Development: With rapid change in time, the means of communication and transportation has also evolved, by which the criminal may rapidly travel anywhere, like Vijay Malya. Cybercrimes have also evolved by technological development to meet necessary or important challenges of forensic science.
  • Globalization: The movement of the world has become easy so the area of criminal activity has also widened with the progress in time, which helps a criminal to escape after committing a crime. So Criminal investigation may play a big role by knowing the alteration of the scenario.
  • Men may lie but circumstances doesn’t lie so the change in the circumstances may help in finding that the crime was actually committed or not.
  • By Scientific temperament it can be easy for investigating officers to find that the crime has been committed at which place, when and how the crime was committed.

Conclusion

“Change is inevitable” or incapable of avoiding, the same quotation also applies on the objects or things and a particular object changes in a span of time like sample of DNA also degrade in a period of time, body of the victim also starts decomposing with the time, tyre marks also starts to vanish the span of time etc. Law or principle of Progressive Change states that everything changes with the passage of time, so as that crime scene or place where the crime has been committed also changes with time to time or varies with time. The laws or principles of forensic science is used to analyze the evidence, crime scene, traces etc for success of the criminal investigation or case. It has a great impact on a case as it recognizes the criminal case from the very starting that is the occurrence of crime to conviction of accused person. Men may lie but circumstances doesn’t lie so the change in the circumstances may help in finding that the crime was actually committed or not. Hence it can be said that change in time is directly proportional to the change or variation in evidence collected, crime scene etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Principle of Progressive Change?
  2. How the investigation of crime has a great impact on principle of progressive change?
  3. How many principles are there in forensic science?
  4. Why it is necessary to prevent crime scene, body of crime from decomposing?

References

  1. www.heinonline.com
  2. www.jstor.org
  3. http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-2974-concept-and-principles-of-forensic-science.html#:~:text=This%20principle%20is%20associated%20with,collection%20at%20the%20crime%20scene.&text=Law%20of%20progressive%20change%3A%20It,changes%20and%20sometimes%20become%20unrecognizable.

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