Questioned Document

The Questioned Documents Section of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency, Lahore is responsible for examining any document about which a question has been raised concerning its authenticity in the court of law. These examinations can take many forms. They include the examination of handwriting and signature to determine its author, the examination of typewriting, the examination of altered documents, the examination of indentations on paper, the non destructive examination of inks and other types of examinations.

The handwriting of most adults does lend itself to identification. Handwriting examinations involve the comparison of known writing from one or more subjects with the questioned writing. The questioned writing may be on cheques, anonymous and/or threatening letters, bank hold-up notes, wills, mutations etc.

Sometimes, Photocopied documents can be matched back to their source by the observation of “trash marks” on the paper.

Altered documents can be of several different varieties. Erasures can be detected with proper lighting techniques, although identification of the original information may not be possible in every case. Obliterations may take several forms, including the use of opaquing material, marker pens or simply using a ballpoint pen to mark over earlier writing. Special lighting and magnification techniques and the use of the Video Spectral Comparator (VSC) can frequently reveal the information underneath the obliteration. On the bank cheques, the amount may have been altered. The VSC can reveal the presence of different inks in the amount area.

Handwriting indentations are caused when someone writes on the top sheet of pad or stack of paper. Indentations of the original writing will be impressed into the pages below. The Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA) is a non-destructive method to develop and preserve these indentations.