The pattern of crime has changed in modern days with the advent of modern technology, internet and different media of communication. White collar crimes are on the rise with the changing situation. Offenders and criminals forge documents and use those for the purpose of committing crimes. International smugglers, criminals/terrorists in the guise of common men also produce fake documents in order to secure their residency in this country. These are causing serious concern in the society. Questioned Document Examination Bureau (QDEB) in Criminal Investigation Department (CID), West Bengal has geared up its strategies to meet this challenge and is using modern equipments to examine the originality of the documents sent by the police stations and the courts.
The documents and records are crucial evidences in criminal justice delivery system. Documents like Birth Certificate, School Leaving Certificate, residential certificate, ration card, Aadhaar Card, Electoral Photo Identity Card(EPIC), succession certificate etc. are forged with modern tools and techniques often create serious problems for the authorities to verify. Such situation leads to difficult problems for the present day complex society. In order to determine the fate of all economic offences and white collar crimes where crores of rupees are involved, expert’s assistance is essential. QDEB is the only savior in identifying the genuineness of the document which actually helps law enforcer and the court.
Questioned Document Examination Bureau, which was previously known as Hand writing Bureau, is carrying out the most crucial job to determine the genuineness of documents. Persons with forged birth certificates will automatically become citizens in the country and enjoy all rights and privileges which may turn into dangerous consequences. Similar will be the case if someone manages to get a false succession certificate and enjoy the others property hoodwhinking natural owners. Other documents also are crucial for the lives of the common people. These situations cause not only individual problem but also endanger security of the country. Forged documents can create havoc in almost all areas of national life. Documents are now very important and nothing would work in the present day world without appropriate documents and attempt to forge documents are often made by the criminals who operate at various levels particularly in the international border for the smuggling purposes.
The QDEB deals with crucial jobs like verification of actual signatories, different types of forgeries, deciphering of erased and obliterated writings and determination of writings in folded papers, among other specialised work in the area. The bureau earns handsome revenue for the government. The department has handled many sensational cases, mostly criminal in nature, and currently handles on an average more than 700 cases annually.
The remarkable job being done by QDEB is headed by a Director in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, who is assisted by five inspectors and two sub-inspectors to deal with the pending cases. Meanwhile a proposal for restructuring the existing bureau with increased strength is now under consideration of the government. The department has one of the best laboratories in the country having modern scientific gadgets including Video Spectral Comparator (VSC- 6000), Stereoscopic Microscope with Camera Attached (Leica), Foster & Free man Trace Analysis equipment, Hand Held Magnifying Lenses of various magnifications and Stereoscopic Microscope.
Biplab Kumar Majumdar, Director, QDEB