A simple test to find the truth | delhi | Hindustan Times
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A simple test to find the truth

The controversy surrounding who killed ACP Rajbir Singh could have been easily avoided had the Gurgaon Police conducted a Dermal Nitrate Test of the accused, reports T Srivastava.

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2008 00:11 IST
Tushar Srivastava

The controversy surrounding who killed ACP Rajbir Singh could have been easily avoided had the Gurgaon Police conducted a Dermal Nitrate Test of the accused, Vijay Bhardwaj, after he was arrested.

The police's blunder has not only led to various conspiracy theories, it has cast serious doubts on the investigation capabilities of the Gurgaon Police, which is handling one of the most high-profile cases in recent times.

Gurgaon Police Commissioner Mohinder Lal and DCP Rakesh Arya said they were not aware of the tests being conducted on Bhardwaj and refused to answer questions as to how police "forgot" to conduct it.

The test is crucial to establishing whether someone has used a firearm.

"The Dermal Nitrate Test has been in use as evidence to determine if a suspect has discharged a firearm. The blow-back powder residue deposited on the back of the palm of the person who fires the shot is generally collected on a paraffin cast of the person's hand, and tested for nitrate using diphenylamine reagent," a senior forensic expert told HT.

To put it simply, there is "back-spitting" from every firearm when a shot is fired leaving carbon particles on the palm of the person who fired the shot.

A Dermal Nitrate Test helps establish presence of carbon particles on the palm. If the result is positive, it establishes that the person has fired from a gun. "If you don't conduct the test and allow the person to wash his hands, you lose vital evidence," the expert said.

The test, experts feel, could have proved to be very helpful in this case when there are doubts on whether Bhardwaj was the person who killed Rajbir.