Manisha Panda


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Course Credit: 3+2+0

Course Objective: 

After studying this paper the students will know –

  1. The methods of analyzing trace amounts of petroleum products in crime scene evidence.
  2. The methods of analyzing contaminants in petroleum products.
  3. The method of searching, collecting, preserving and analyzing arson evidence.
  4. The classification of explosives, including the synthesis and characterization of representative analogs.
  5. The significance of bomb scene management.
  6. The techniques of locating hidden explosives.

Course Syllabus:

Unit I: Petroleum and Petroleum Products

Distillation and fractionation of petroleum. Commercial uses of different petroleum fractions. Analysis of petroleum products. Analysis of traces of petroleum products in forensic exhibits. Comparison of petroleum products. Adulteration of petroleum products.

Unit II: Arson

Chemistry of fire. Conditions for fire. Fire scene patterns. Location of point of ignition. Recognition of type of fire. Searching the fire scene. Collection and preservation of arson evidence. Analysis of fire debris. Analysis of ignitable liquid residue. Post-flashover burning. Scientific investigation and evaluation of clue materials. Information from smoke staining.

Unit III: Explosives

 Introduction, Classification of explosives – low explosives and high explosives. Homemade explosives. Military explosives. Blasting agents. Synthesis and characteristics of picric acid, TNT, PETN and RDX. Explosion process. Blast waves. Bomb scene management. Searching the scene of explosion. Mechanism of explosion. Post blast residue collection and analysis. Blast injuries.

Unit IV: Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances

Definition of narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances. Broad classification – Narcotics, stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens. General characteristics and common example of each classification. Natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances. Designer drugs. Tolerance, addiction and withdrawal symptoms of narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances Crime scene search for narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances – searching a suspect, searching a dwelling, searching a vehicle. Testing of narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances. Presumptive and screening tests for narcotics, drugs and psychotropic substances. Microcrystalline testing of drugs of abuse

Unit V: Analysis of Beverages

 Introduction, Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and their composition, Definition of alcohol and illicit liquor. Alcohol and prohibition, Consequences of drunken driving, Breath analysis, blood alcohol analysis by GC-HS.
Analysis of Beverages- Analysis of alcoholic beverages as per BIS and PFA Act, Detection and determination of ethanol, furfural, organic acids, aldehydes, chloral hydrate, methanol and ethylene glycol in liquors.

 Unit VI: Detection of Food Adulteration

 Food adulteration: Introduction, Prevention of food adulteration, analysis of samples taken under food adulteration act

Unit VII: Case Studies

 Famous case studies related to forensic chemistry.


Suggested Readings

  1. D. DeHaan, Kirk’s Fire Investigation, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey (1991).
  2. A. Moenssens, J. Starrs, C.E. Henderson and F.E. Inbau, Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases, 4th Edition, The Foundation Press, Inc., New York (1995).
  3. Saferstein, Criminalistics, 8th Edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey (2004).
  4. J. Tilstone, M.L. Hastrup and C. Hald, Fisher’s, Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation, CRC Press, Boca Raton (2013).
  5. Ballou, M. Houck, J.A. Siegel, C.A. Crouse, J.J. Lentini and S. Palenik in Forensic Science, D.H. Ubelaker (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester (2013).

Session 3

Analysis of traces of petroleum products in forensic exhibits

Session 4

Comparison of petroleum products. Adulteration of petroleum products


Our Main Teachers

Manisha Panda

Assistant Professor