45. Opinions of experts –
When the Court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of science, or art, or as to identity of hand writing 1or finger-impressions, the opinions upon that point of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, science or art, 2or in questions as to identity of handwriting 1or finger impressions, are relevant facts.
Such person called experts.
(a) The question is, whether the death of A was caused by poison.
The opinions of experts as to the symptoms produced by the poison by which A is supposed to have died, are relevant.
(b) The question is whether A, at the time of doing a certain act, was by reason of unsoundness of mind, in capable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he was doing what was either wrong or contrary to law.
The opinions of experts upon the question whether the symptoms exhibited by A commonly show unsoundness of mind, and whether such unsoundness of mind usually renders persons incapable of knowing the nature of the acts which they do, or knowing that what they do is either wrong or contrary to law, are relevant.
(c) The question is, whether a certain document was written by A. Another document is produced which is proved or admitted to have been written by A.
The opinion of experts on the question whether the two documents were written by the same person or by different persons are relevant.
Conflict of opinion of Experts
When there is a conflict of opinion between the experts, then the Court is competent to form its own opinion with regard to signatures on a document; Kishan Chand v. Sita Ram, AIR 2005 P&H 156.
Expert opinion admissibility
Requirement of expert evidence about test firing to find out whether double barrel gun is in working condition or not, not necessary; Jarnail Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1999 SC 321.
The evidence of a doctor conducting post mortem without producing any authority in support of his opinion is insufficient to grant conviction to an accused; Mohd Zahid v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1999 Cr LJ 3699 (SC).
Opinion to be received with great caution
The opinion of a handwriting expert given in evidence is no less fallible than any other expert opinion adduced in evidence with the result that such evidence has to be received with great caution; Ram Narain v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1973 SC 2200.
1. Ins. by Act 5 of 1899, sec. 3. For discussion in Council as to whether “finger impressions” include “thumb impressions”, see Gazette of India, 1898, Pt. VI, p. 24.
2. Ins. by Act 18 of 1872, sec. 4.