Remembering the legendary Sherlock Holmes of India Dewan KS Puri on his 24th death anniversary-Puri’s
Dr Jaswant Puri
Eminent International Handwriting and Fingerprint Expert Dewan K. S. Puri, Chairperson of Patiala Bureau of Identification, Patiala was born on 14.3.1917. Dewan K.S. Puri received his education from Government Mohindra College, Patiala till 1934. Thereafter, he enrolled himself in the American distance education scheme and passed the graduate level examination of the Institute of Applied Sciences. He got training from various institutes at Calcutta, Phillaur, Cuttack, Trivandrum and Tokyo. In 1936, he established the Patiala Bureau of Identification at Patiala and served as its chairperson till the last day of his life. He wrote more than 9 books and 100 Articles which were published in 32 languages in 28 countries. His 7 Articles were identified as Selected Articles by INTERPOL and were micro-filmed and distributed to the concerned countries. During his whole life he worked for justice, equity and fair-play with crusader’s spirit.
His expert opinions were sought in all the cases of Government Institutes, Banks, Universities and Courts of different States of India. He also authored many books on Forensic Science. Dewan K.S. Puri even earned the appreciations and remarks of the Supreme Court and various High Courts such as “A rare expert in the field for giving cogent, elaborate well reasoned opinions irrespective of the fact whether it goes in favor or against the party engaging him”, “A Competent Handwriting Expert”, “Puri reasons far more convincing”, “Well known for his ability, knowledge, fairness, clarity & Integrity” and the credentials appear to be beyond challenge and never so assailed”.
He was also a consulting document expert of 40 pre-independent Indian States and Government Document Expert, Patiala and East Punjab States Union. He had served a member of Ohio Association of Questioned Documents Examiners (1957) and Honorary Associate Member of Washington State Bureau of Criminal Identification (1958). He was also a fellow of the American Association of Criminology (1962) apart from being associated with number of other such institutions. Dewan K.S. Puri was the visiting Professor for Govt. Central Police College of Taiwan, Police Cadet Academy, Thailand, and Judicial Services Training Center, Nepal. In recognition of his merit, The American Association of Criminology conferred a fellowship on him and also awarded him the tenth annual award for criminal investigation and outstanding public service in the year 1963. The other awards given to him were Crusade against Crime Award (Belgium) in the year 1968 and ROC Police Medal (Taiwan) in 1981. His Excellency, Governor of Punjab, conferred “Patiala Rattan” Award posthumously at Patiala on 16.4.2000. In recognition of his achievements Municipal Corporation, Patiala had named a road after his surname “Puri” in front of his residence as “Puri Road” starting from Arya Smaj Chowk to Triveni Chowk as a mark of honor for Dewan K. S. Puri.
He expired on 9.2.1998 after a massive heart attack in Mumbai. In the memory of Late Dewan K.S. Puri, Punjabi University Patiala is awarding “Dewan K.S. Puri Gold Medal” for the M.Sc. Forensic Science topper every year. The eldest son of Dewan K. S. Puri namely Dr. Ajit Singh Puri is a noted physician, settled at Patiala and the author of famous book “How to prevent common diseases” his wife Alka Puri very well look after octogenarian Dewan K. S. Puri during his life time, son Sukhbir Puri is settled in Mauritius, son Jagjit Puri, IAS (Retd.) settled at Panchkulla and only daughter Veena Leekha with her husband Ved Leekha are settled at Pune. The other sons Satwant Puri, Document Expert, Sukhdev Puri, IPS who was the former DGP Mumbai and Sh. Balbir Puri who was settled in USA have already died.
The book “Selected Works of Dewan K.S. Puri on Disputed Handwriting and Finger Prints Comparison” had been dedicated to the Nation by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Krishan Kant ji on 11.1.2002 in New Delhi. The second book “Forger is Smart but the Expert Smarter” bearing Articles of Dewan K.S. Puri was published by Dewan K.S. Puri Foundation in April 2003 with a preface by Sh. M.M. Punchhi Former Chief Justice of India.
Presently, the Patiala Bureau of Identification office is being headed by Dr. Vikram Raj Singh Chauhan, who remained Associate of Dewan K.S. Puri during his life time.
Dr. Vikram Raj Singh Chauhan is a Forensic Scientist and Legal Consultant, Handwriting & Fingerprints Expert and Crime Scene Investigator having 28 years of vast professional experience and has given opinions in about twenty thousand cases in various Courts of Law in India. He is M.Sc. and Ph. D. in Forensic Science, LL.B., M.B.A., M.A. Urdu, Post Graduate certificate in Cyber Laws, Advanced Diploma in French, Diploma in Computer Application, etc. He received professional forensic training from Late Dewan K.S. Puri, International Forensic Expert and worked with him as his Associate Expert till he died on 9.2.1998.
Dr. Chauhan is a life Member of Indian Academy of Forensic Science, All India Forensic Science Association, North Zone Forensic Science Association, Indo Pacific Association of Law, Medicine and science, World Science Congress, Indian Science Congress, Punjab Science Congress, Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine and Federation of Indian Photography.
Dr. Vikram has attended various National and International Webinars, Conferences, Workshops, Conventions, Seminars and Symposiums and delivered his lectures and presented unique research papers in India, United States of America, Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan, Republic Of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka etc and brought laurels for the country. His various solved Cases/Stories/News/Articles relating to Forensic Science were published in National Newspapers, Magazines and Journals/Proceedings and telecasted on various T.V., Channels like AAJ TAK, Zee News, PTC, DD Jalandhar, All India Radio etc.
Dr. Chauhan’s contribution towards Forensic Research was beneficial to Students/Scientists/Judicial Officers/ Investigative and Law Enforcement Agencies. He received numerous State, National and International Awards for presenting unique research papers on Forensic Science as a Researcher, Keynote Speaker and Chairing the Sessions at various National and International conferences, conventions, Seminars, Webinars and Symposiums in India and Abroad. He received Flame Science Award from Dr. Najma Heptulla, Union Minister, for extraordinary contribution in the noble cause of Yeoman’s Forensic Service and research at the 5th International Conference held at New Delhi from 10th to 12th October, 2015, Danvir Seth Chiranji Lal Award-2015 on International Men Day for commendable contribution in Forensic Science research, Award of Honor by American Academy of Forensic Science for my unique research at the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting of American Academy of Forensic Science held at Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. from 22nd Feb to 27th Feb, 2016 and State Award from the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab State Capt. Amarinder Singh for exemplary service rendered in the field of Forensic Science on the eve of Independence Day on 15 August, 2017 at Gurdaspur. He also got Awards of Honors and Appreciations from various Educational Institutions, Bar Associations and Law Enforcement Agencies for enlightening the Students, Advocates, Judicial Officers, General Public and Law Enforcement Agencies in giving awareness and deliberations in the subject of Forensic Science.
Dr. Chauhan is also an External Examiner for practical of M.Sc., B.Sc., Diploma and certificate courses in the subject of Forensic Science, Member, Board of Studies for various Universities and Former Vice President and Council Member of Indo Pacific Association of Law, Medicine and Science and Social Worker. Presently, he is Chief Forensic Scientist of Patiala Bureau of Identification having a registered Trade Mark, President All India Forensic Science Association, President of North Zone Forensic Science Association and Vice President Association of Forensic Experts.
The author Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri, Recipient of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) and Punjab Ratan. He is the grandson of the late Dewan K. S. Puri.(The views expressed are personal)