Author : Yashwardhan Singh Sandhu, Student at Manipal University, Jaipur.
Co-Author : Kanishk Nawal, Student at Manipal University, Jaipur.
Forensic Psychological Assessment means a technique which is used to evaluate the person’s behaviour, personality and his overall psyche which can help the cout to identify the deceptive person and to exclude the innocent person from the list of the suspects. This type of assessment is most common use of psychology in law. Through this we can replace the third degree method by Psychological technique. We can also verify the veracity of the statements of the accused, suspects, witnesses and complainants subjects. It can be used in all types of cases like: Forgery/cheating Homicide/ suicide Anti-corruption Special crime Economic offence, kidnapping, Terrorism and Crime against women. The aim of this study of this topic is to illuminate the forensic psychological help to law to deceptive person. The Propose of the study of this topic is to know how the psychological assessment of a person is evaluated and what laws come under this topic and their legality. The opinion of the Forensic Psychologist will have the persuasive value and needs to be read and interpreted in conjunction with other material evidences, interviews, interrogation reports and the professional opinion thereof.
Keywords : Forensic Psychological, Forgery, Anti-corruption.
Forensic Psychological Assessment helps the investigating agency to identify the deceptive person and to exclude the innocent person from the list of the suspects through non invasive analysis of verbal, non verbal, behavioral and psychological cues. Forensic Psychological Assessment is a novel forensic aid to investigation through which the investigating officer can get valuable assistance in determining the truthfulness of the statement of the subject .Neither Supreme Court, nor the NHRC guidelines restricts the applicability and utility of the Forensic Psychological Assessment. Permission of the Court is not required to conduct these tests. The Investigating officer has to make himself available before the Forensic Psychologist along with the suspect/witness/victim/complainant whose statements need to be analysed . One-to-one interaction with the Forensic Psychologist is essential for this assessment. It is purely a NON INVASIVE technique. The Forensic Psychologist will conduct appropriate psychological tests ,interview and offer his opinion based on the verbal, non-verbal and behavioral analysis of the subject .It is time consuming as it involves paper-pencil tests, answering to some hypothetical questions, projective questions etc.No physical contact between equipment and the subject. The forensic psychological Assessment is a psychological technique that aims to aid investigators generate new leads and narrow down a pool of suspects to identify the most likely offender.
- To identify the perpetrator of the crime
- To replace the third degree method by Psychological technique.
- To verify the veracity of the statements of the statements of accused, suspects, witnesses and complainants subjects.
- To obtain maximum understanding of the crime that has been committed from in all possible angles, so that justice can be done to the innocent and the real criminal is punished.
- To assist the investigation process
- It is very useful for white-collar criminals
- During the falsehood, the psyche mind conveys apprehensive energy that shows up as a motion that can repudiate what the individual said.
- Many investigates show that in any event, when significant body motion are deliberately smothered, various miniature motions will at present be communicated.
- These incorporate facial solid jerking, extension and withdrawal of understudies, perspiring at the temple, flushing of the cheeks, expanded pace of eye flickering and various other moment motions that signal duplicity. The suspect has three instinctual choices: battle, flight or freeze/cover up. It is the contention among these developmental drives furthermore, the mental truth of his/her circumstance which will make the non-verbal furthermore, verbal pointers that are perused and deciphered by the prepared analyst as indications of reactions to a danger. For this situation, the danger is that being uncovered, and the resultant psychophysiological reaction can be perused as double dealing
At the point when an individual lies the level of physiological changes occur in a person’s body rely upon numerous elements:
- The presumes impression of the questioner’s capacity to identify reality.
- The level of blame the presume’s feels about their activity.
- The suspect’s previous achievement in comparable circumstance.
- The presume’s view of the reality of being gotten.
APPLICATION OF THE TECHNIQUE
It can be used in all types of cases like:
- Homicide/ suicide
- Special crime
- Economic offence
- Terrorism and Crime against women etc.
Forensic Psychological Assessment is conducted in a private convenient room where rapport with the suspected person is established.It has to e done in extreme detail and follows certain uniforms rules and regulations. The psychological tests are administered to see his mental level and his personality. The I.Q. tests are of great value to forensic psychologist to find out if the crime that was committed by the person concerned was done at all with competence.The personality tests give an indication of the Person’s temperamental and emotional states.One to one interaction during the interview session will facilitate the expert to observe the suspect for characteristic non verbal and behavioral clues.It is also prerequisite for the expert to have all verified information about the case, suspect, his version etc before he conducts Forensic Psychological Assessment. The crime Scene visit should be recorded in detail with the help of other Forensic Experts and there is also a need to review the relevant information and the related files in regard to a particular case.The information from other sources should also include as crime and police report, history of Psychiatric illness, records of any previous crime and educational history etc. Mental Status Examination include the subject’s appearance, speech, motor activity, mood, Affect, thought process, thought content, insight, perceptual disturbance and his judgment. The forensic psychological Assessment is conducted using set of psychological questionnaires, objective observation and verbal and non verbal responses of the suspected person.
- Appropriate Psychological questionnaire
- Behavioral Analysis Interview
- Verbal observation of the subject and
- Non-verbal behavioral observation of the subject
Guidelines for Forensic Psychologist
- The Forensic Assessment ought to be in outrageous detail.
- Crime Scene visited should be recorded in detail with specialists.
- History of mental ailment and related records of the people concerned.
- Forensic inputs are required.
- Educational and Social and background history of the individual.
- Crime and Police reports
- The question should be asked in a Language which the respondent can understand
- The Psychologist has to be well versed with the facts and details of the crime Scene.
- Forensic Psychological Assessment is conducted under certain ethical principles/guidelines which stress that psychologists must acknowledge the limits of their data or conclusions, whenever necessary.
Guidelines for Investigating Officer
The request letter for conducting the Forensic Psychological Assessment of any subject is forwarded with the following documents:
- Name of the subjects
- Copy of FIR
- Brief facts of the case
- Statement/ interrogation report of the subject
- Crime scene report
- In case of violent crime medico-legal certificate
- In case of murder post-mortem report
- Justification for subjecting a particular person to Forensic Psychological Assessment.
- Issues to be probed
- Forensic Inputs
- Visit of Scene of crime is also suggested
- The cases in which the Forensic Psychological Assessment was done in CFSL (CBI), New Delhi, the Forensic Psychologist was in a position to identify the deceptive and truthful person and the same was found to be in congruence with the investigation findings.
- This test has been successfully conducted so far in 7 important CBI cases.
- After the Forensic Psychological Assessment in five CBI cases the accused / suspect/witness/complainant voluntarily became ready to take Polygraph tests. The Polygraph examination is conducted to ascertain their role in crime.
- This suggests the Forensic Psychological Assessment can provide better lead to the investigating agency. Delhi Police and DFS, Gujarat is already using.
- Forensic Assessment is a non instrumental investigation, it offers a significant favorable position; i.e., the nonattendance of innovation leaves the speculate less mindful of what is being checked and less protected and scared.
- The Psychologist can assess a more extensive scope of suspect reactions to make a dependable appraisal of witness/suspect believability.
- The Forensic Psychological Assessment in conjunction with other forensic reports and other material evidences can lead to the investigation.
Sec. 293 CrPC.: Discretion to Magistrate to admit any evidence based on the nature and circumstances of the case.
- The opinion of the Forensic Psychologist will have the persuasive value and needs to be read and interpreted in conjunction with other material evidences, interviews, interrogation reports and the professional opinion thereof.
- It can be cited as the corroborative evidence. Besides, the same may be admitted subjected to judicial scrutiny and discretion. The expert witness by virtue of his/her education, profession, and experience is considered to have special knowledge of the subject beyond that of the average person. So that he/she may be believed when he/she makes statement as it would be authentic and factual loaded with thorough knowledge, evidence, facts and figures.
- The Forensic Psychologist can function as an expert and depose in the court as a witness to provide professional opinions in matters that are relevant to his or her expertise.
- It is basically Aid for investigation agencies. The interpretation will help the investigating agency to come to a logical conclusion as to whether the subject is guilty or not.
- Psychological testing does not prove guilt or innocence. That is the role of a judge and jury. This exciting technology gives the judge and jury new, scientifically valid evidence to help them arrive at their decision.
The forensic assessment is a very beneficial method for evaluate the person’s psyche and this in turn help the courts to identify the accused from the innocent. This method is backed by science and is fairly accurate. However there is no particular law which specifically states this procedure. Regardless this is a very helpful tool in bring out the perpetrator and to help bring justice.
 National Human Right Commission
 American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060-1073.
 Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists. (1991). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists. Law and Human Behavior, 15, 441-148.
 Code of Criminal procedure,1973
 Indian Evidence Act,1872
 Enabling order from Govt. of India dated 9th October 1969 to treat SSO-II of CFSL (CBI) as ex- officio Chemical Examiner to Govt. of India.