Handwriting Forensics is the comparative examination between a disputed handwriting and a standard handwriting sample of a suspected writer. Handwriting features of class and individual characteristics or specific writing habits of suspected writers are comprehensively compared for similarities or dissimilarities with the known handwriting sample. “Handwriting is known as brainwriting”. The handwriting is central to the person’s identity. Each person writes in his own unique way which represents the individual characteristic. It is a fact noted by handwriting analysts that most handwriting characters appear similar in some person writing as they learn the same way of constructing and forming the letters in a school. But over the period of time, a person possesses certain individual characteristics in his handwriting which differentiates his handwriting from others.
The credibility of handwriting is questioned when any individual tries to forge or alters the genuine handwriting of a writer. Here comes the role of a forensic handwriting and signature expert who analyze and make comparison between disputed and genuine handwriting samples which are mainly admitted and specimen samples of the writer. The handwriting analysis is a science-based on a notion that no two persons write exactly the same in extended handwriting. The other scientific notion is that not a single individual writes exactly the same all the time. The natural variations always exist in the person’s handwriting as hand cannot work like a rubber stamp. Handwriting is a complex act, highly developed skill, and recurring habit of an individual. The primary purpose of a forensic handwriting and signature expert is to analyze and find the differences in the writing habits between the disputed handwriting or signature exhibits and its contemporary comparative samples.
The forensic handwriting examiners are highly trained and specialized in the field of forensic handwriting analysis and verification. They use intense knowledge and scientific methods to determine the authenticity of a questioned handwriting sample. The questioned handwriting samples need to be compared with the standard handwriting samples. There are certain writing features known as class and individual characteristics that need to be taken into consideration for handwriting verification. Such writing characteristics include movement of the hand, the formation of letters, relative size and proportion of letters and words, interspacing between letters, connecting strokes, slant, alignment, line quality, style, pen pressure, shading, pen position, natural variations, etc are to be examined carefully.
There are times when a writer himself camouflages his own handwriting. The writer deliberately changes his own handwriting by changing the slant of letters, size, and proportion of letters, consciously constructs odd letters, and may deceive other tactics to conceal his handwriting identity. The other challenge in handwriting analysis relates to the simulation which is an attempt to copy another person’s handwriting. The forger tries to make a similar model of the signature on various documents like a Will, invoice, business memorandums, sale deeds, property papers, sale-rent agreements, medical certificates, mark sheets, etc. In such a situation, the forensic handwriting and signature examiner must take sufficient standard samples of suspect in order to make conclusive opinion. The standards (exemplars) must be taken in the court of law. Sometimes, while taking the specimen, the suspect consciously tries to alter or disguise his handwriting so the specimen must be taken on multiple sheets, at different writing speeds to avoid any manipulation or disguising efforts made by him. The comparative sample must not be shown to the specimen writer; the specimen must be taken by dictating it.
Sometimes, the forensic handwriting and signature expert may face a challenging phase in the analysis of anonymous handwriting in cases of threatening letters, extortion money letters, harassment notes, blackmailing letters, or notes where the writer is unknown. In such situations, the forensic expert can infer that whether such anonymous notes or letters are written by some closed one’s who are either jealous or feel competitive or rejected lovers whose intention is to torture, harass mentally, defaming, etc.
Therefore; the advancement of the forgers in performing different tactics gives a lesson to the forensic handwriting and signature experts that they must upgrade their skills and knowledge to mark the conclusive analysis and their opinion based on different cases. If any person feels cheated, by way of forgery or disguised he must consult to forensic investigation expert to get the opinion.
Brilliant Forensic Investigation Pvt. Ltd. is one such private forensic science organization in Janakpuri, New Delhi, India which deals with cases related to handwriting and signature analysis, signature verification, anonymous, or miscellaneous handwritings analysis for the personal purpose or legal purposes pertaining to judiciary or police, etc. The forensic services are available all across the states of India.
-Ravshish Kaur Kohli