Identification of handwriting is based on like-with-likecomparison. During the process of identification consideration must be given to the writing variation. No two samples of writing written by any individual are identical in every detail, since variation is an integral part of natural writing.
Nature and extent of variation differs from person to person and, in its way, forms an important element in identification process. Writing variation is due to various factors external factors like writing position, writing instrument, care of execution, etc; physical and mental conditions like fatigue, intoxication, drug use, illness, nervousness, etc. These factors produce a varying degree of variation. The variation is commensurable in its degree with the intensity of the cause.
The advanced age of the writer and the quality of writing he prepares in the course of time may introduce greater variation between writings written at widely separated dates. Variation does not preclude identification of the writing. In fact, it forms an additional factor that serves to personalize the writing. Thus, handwriting can be most accurately identified when the standard writings and the questioned writings were written under comparable conditions. It is necessary to demonstrate that not only the disputed writing has the qualities and habits of the standard writing, but also that the deviations from the basic patterns (nature and extent of variations) that occur in the disputed writings are such as can be predicted from the variations in the standards. Limited comparable standards sometimes complicate the matter of identification / non-identification. As such, adequate and suitable standards be supplied. If questioned writing purports to be by an aged writer, it is especially desirable that the standards should not only be near the date of the writing in question but it should also, if possible, be shown that they were written under similar health conditions. In cases involving forged signatures not only should comparison signatures be obtained from documents of similar importance, but if possible also from documents which are roughly contemporary with those in question. Writing of an adult will show an obvious steady change with passage of time. In these circumstances provision of a whole set of signatures written over a period of years will prove of inestimable value to the document examiner. When serious illness occurs, a signature often undergoes a remarkable change in a very short period and if a suspect will is dated near the day of death, standard (admittedly genuine) signatures covering this period are essential if reliable evidence of the authenticity or otherwise of the signature is to be established. Normally, in the case of a typical adult, basic writing habits change gradually. Therefore, material written two or three years before or after the disputed writing serve as satisfactory standards, but as the lapse of years between the date of standards and questioned material becomes greater, the standards have a tendency to be less representative. Consequently, an effort should always be made to procure some standards (admittedly genuine writings / signatures) written near in date to the disputed matter. The gist of the experts opinion, emerging from the above Report, is to the effect that it is not always necessary to have contemporaneous handwritings/signatures for comparison. However, as a general rule, it would be desirable to undertake comparison of admitted handwritings/signatures with disputed handwritings/signatures which fall within the range of 2 or 3 years from each other. Therefore, there can be no hard and fast norm as to when comparison can or cannot be undertaken owing to the time lag between the two sets of handwritings/signatures. Various other factors would have to be taken into consideration, as opined by the experts, quoted hereinbefore. Each case would turn upon its own facts and circumstances relating to the time lag, the change in the handwriting/signature, the capability of correlating the two sets and ultimately, the opinion of the expert himself as to whether the two sets can be compared. It is therefore not open to the Court to refuse to entertain an application seeking comparison of disputed handwritings/signatures with admitted handwritings/ signatures on the ground of a long lapse of time between the two sets of
HYDERABAD HIGH COURT
CIVIL REVISION PETITION NOS.1500 of 2010