Sunday 18 May 2014

Appreciation of Evidence of handwriting expert in Akshardham case



CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 2295-2296 OF 2010 

Adambhai Sulemanbhai Ajmeri & Ors. …Appellants 


State of Gujarat ...Respondent


Dated;May 16, 2014

Answer to point no. 5 

104. The learned senior counsel on behalf of the 

prosecution, Mr. Ranjit Kumar contended that the two 

Urdu letters allegedly recovered from the pockets of 

the trousers of the fidayeens had been written by A-4, 

as he had admitted the same in his confessional 

statement as under: 

“…..On the next day night Aiyub came at my 

office and he stated that persons come by 

taking goods (arms). Tomorrow they three will 

come here at the time of noon’s prayer here, at 

that time I and both fidayins will have to go 

to Akshardham separately, therfore Adam be 

called at noon time before Johar’s prayer with 

rickshaw to take me, and keep ready by writing 

two chits in Urdu to the effect that this 

massacre is committed as a revenge of torture 

beyond limit committed on Muslims, and as 

writer of that chit name of group taking 

revenge on Gujarat i.e. “tehrik-e-qisas 

Gujarat” be written……

…On that night at late hours, in my office of 

Zankar sound by closing shutter, I and Maulvi 

Abdulla made discussion and I wrote two chits 

in Urdu in my handwriting wherein we wrote that 

“violence on Muslims in Gujarat due to which 

feeling of revenge is spread in Muslims, now 

blood of Hindus, police will come out and now 

Shiv Sena, VHP and temple will be burnt and due 

to that Muslims will get relief and called upon 

all Muslims to take revenge by shaking 

shoulders, and if you want to live, live with 

pride and if you want to die, then die with 

pride. This gift of massacre is for Advani and 

Modi….by saying to give both these chits and 

pen to fidayins on next day, I had given it to 

Maulvi Abdullah… 

……we performed two rakat fazal namaz, and as I 

called upon both fidayins to state their real 

names to make prayer for success of massacre, 

their safety and if they are died then they are 

going to heaven, doctor-2 stated his real name 

as Hafiz Yasir res. Lahore, Pakistan and 

Doctor-3 (Ashraf) stated his real name as 

Mohammed Faruk residence Ravalpindi, Pakistan 

and for their prayer we all five persons 

performed two rakat nafal namaz and gave hug to 

each other. At that time Maulvi Abdullah had 

given one chit each to the fidayin written by 

me in Urdu yesterday as per my instruction and 

if in future chits are caught to show that 

chits are written by fidayins he had also given 

them pen. 

During this in the encounter with armed forces, 

they both terrorists are also killed and one 

chit each having one kind of urdu writing have 

been found from pockets of both. I had seen 

photographs of those chits and photographs of 

both the terrorists killed afterwards in T.V 

and newspapers. I identified that those chits 

are same which I and Maulvi Abdullah made 

discussion and both terrorists who died were 

doctor-1 and doctor-2.” 

(translation extracted from the Additional 

documents submitted on behalf of the State of 

Therefore, by placing reliance upon the confessional 

statement of A-4, read with the contents of the 

letters mentioned above and the opinion of the hand 

writing expert,Jagdish Bhai(PW-89) the learned counsel 

on behalf of the prosecution contended that the 

alleged letters had been written by A-4. 

105. The learned counsel for the accused persons have 

contended that the statement under Section 161 of the 

CrPC, of the key witness PW-91, Maj.Jaydeep Lamba was 

not recorded. We have to accept this contention as the 

investigating officers have conveniently omitted to 

record the statements of witnesses which could have 

established beyond reasonable doubt that the letters 

were the same ones as discovered from the site of 

offence. They tied A-4 to the letters merely based on 

his confessional statement whereas the opinions of the 

hand writing experts are merely indicative and not 

conclusive beyond reasonable doubt. We begin with the 

comment made by the translator of the Urdu letters 

(PW-121: Ex.657) who had categorically stated that: 

 “The matter in both the letters was same but 

the persons who wrote it are not the same as 

per my opinion”. 

(translation extracted from the Additional 

documents submitted on behalf of the 

But considering the fact that he was not a hand 

writing expert, we shall refer to the statement of the 

evidence of the hand writing expert, Jagdish Bhai (PW-

89: Ex.507) who had assigned the following reasons for 

recording his finding in his report that the hand 

writing of A-4 matches with the letters allegedly 

found from the pockets of the trousers of the 


“Pictorial appearance of all the disputed 

specimen and natural writings are similar. 

All these writings are written freely with 

speed showing natural variation among 


They agree in the writing habits such as 

movements, slants, spacing, relative size and 

proportion of characters, line quality, 

alignment of characters; manner of 

accommodation etc. 

They also show similarities in the execution 

of various commencing, terminal and connecting 



However, during cross examination by the learned 

counsel on behalf of A-2 and A-4 while deposing before 

the court, he has stated as under: 

“Question: Hand writing science is not a 

perfect science. 

Answer: It is also not imperfect science. It 

can be called developing science. 


Question: What basic knowledge of Urdu you 

have? Answer: The Urdu language is written from 

right to left, the said fact as well as the 

fact that the complete word is written in 

combination that initial, medial and final. 

Also, wherever there is double pronunciation 

like in bachcha, kachcha then letter like 

little ‘W’ like English is made. I have studied 

‘Kaaf’, ‘Gaaf’, ‘Nukta’, ‘Hamja’, ‘Tasdid’, 

‘full- stop, ‘comma’, small S, big SW, vowels 

and Sh thereby all words. ...I cannot write 

Urdu. I cannot read Urdu language, But by 

taking reliance of book, I can read it. 

It is true reason that there is no mention 

about the discussion of the reasons given by me 

with the Expert of Hyderabad. It is true that 

in the reasons given by me, there is no 

signature of any examiner except for me. It is 

true that in my reasons, general 

characteristics, which are given, in the said, 

details like measurements have not been 

mentioned. It is true that the sample documents 

were compared mutually has not been mentioned 

in my reasons. It is true that the specimen and 

natural hand writings were compared with each 

other, but it is not written in my reasons. It 

is true that I have written natural variations 

in my reasons, but I have not mentioned details 

about what these variations are.” 

(translation extracted from the Additional 

documents submitted on behalf of the 

On cross examination by the Judge of the Special Court 

(POTA) however, he was asked whether the hand writing 

expert can also give opinion on the language which is 

not known to him. To this, he answered that: 

“It is necessary to have basic knowledge of the 

concerned language. Even many signatures are 

written illegibly in monogramatic formation, 

even then also by examining different 

characteristics of hand writing, one can come 

to the conclusion from the same.” 

(translation extracted from the Additional 

documents submitted on behalf of the 

Further, he was asked, if the person who analyses such 

a document can read or write the language of the 

document and whether the opinion given by such a 

person can be called more reliable than the opinion 

given by the person who does not know to read or write 

the language, he answered: 

“I don’t agree that the opinion can be called 

more reliable, but I can just say that the 

knower of the language can give reasons in more 

details. The witness states on his own that 

apart from me, two other experts of Hyderabad 

were taken, and they knew Urdu language better 

than me.” 

(translation extracted from the Additional 

documents submitted on behalf of the 

The hand writing expert had stated that he cannot read 

or write the Urdu language. He can read Urdu language 

only with the aid of a book. 

106. We state that considering the seriousness of this 

case and the gravity of the offences, it was the duty 

of the handwriting expert to seek opinion of other 

experts which he claimed to have done. PW-89 stated 

that he requested the Director of FSL to seek the 

service of the Central Government Laboratory, and the 

photocopies of the documents were sent to the 

Government Examiner of Questioned Documents(in short 

‘GEQD’), Ministry of Home Affairs, Hyderabad for the 

preliminary examination. Accordingly, Assistant 

Government Examiner, Shri A.K Singh and Shri R.K Jain, 

the senior most GEQD of the Central government had 

arrived at the FSL of Gujarat. It was further stated 

by PW-89 that the officers from Hyderabad had worked 

independently and prepared their opinion. Accordingly, 

PW-89 formed a final opinion based upon the opinion of 

the aforesaid officers (Ex.511). The senior most 

officer, Mr. R.K Jain, sent certificate via fax on 

14.09.2003 in which he had stated that he was in 

consent with the opinion of PW-89. However, objection 

was raised by the counsel for the accused persons at 

the Special Court (POTA) for taking this certificate 

on record, since this document of certificate was 

never given to the defence in the chargesheet papers, 

or at any time thereafter. Moreover, the prosecution 

had also submitted that even they were unaware of the 

existence of this document, and this knowledge had 

come before them only during the course of recording 

of the deposition of PW-89 before the Special Court 

(POTA). Therefore, the certificate was taken on record 

with the objection of the defence. 

107. After perusing the above mentioned evidence on 

record, we decipher that the prosecution had contended 

that the Urdu letters (Ex.658) were written by A-4 by 

only placing reliance upon the opinion of the 

handwriting expert, PW-89. However, the certificate of 

the seniormost official of FSL, Hyderabad was not 

admitted on record till a much later stage, after the 

charge sheet was prepared and PW-89 gave his statement 

before the court. It was at this stage that his 

evidence was admitted with protest from the defence. 

PW-89 in his evidence had stated that he has basic 

knowledge of Urdu and cannot differentiate between 

Urdu, Arabic and Persian. He further stated that the 

opinion of handwriting experts is not conclusive. 

Therefore, we hold that the prosecution had failed to 

establish beyond reasonable doubt that the Urdu 

letters (Ex.658) were written by A-4. Accordingly, we 

answer this point in favour of the appellants. 

Read full judgment here;
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