Edmond Locard

In the early 20th century, Dr. Edmond Locard, a forensic science pioneer in France, formulated the theory which states, “Every contact leaves a trace”. This became known as Locard’s exchange principle and is the basis for all forensic science.
Genesis of Tamil Nadu Forensic Sciences Department

1849: FSD owes it's origin to a small laboratory in the name of "Chemical Examiner's Laboratory" sometime even before 1849 (as per the opinion - report - document dated Oct.30,1849 that could be traced in the archives; so one believes that the year of birth could be earlier than 1849).

1905 : A separate Police Laboratory was established by appointing a Coin and Currency Expert to render scientific assistance to the investigating officers.

1935 : Appointment of Ballistic Expert.

1936 : Appointment of Foot-Print Expert.

1951 : Appointment of Document Expert.

1959 : Establishment of the first integrated "Forensic Science Laboratory" by combining three Laboratories viz., the "Chemical Examiner's Laboratory" , the "Police Laboratory" and the "Prohibition and Excise Laboratory". This has brought under one roof all types of scientific examination in relation to criminal, civil and social justice administration.

1967 : Bifurcation of "Forensic Science Laboratory" into two units viz., the "Forensic Science Laboratory" and the "Chemical Examiner's" Laboratory.

1970 : Establishment of Mobile Forensic Science Laboratories to render field criminalistics service at the scene of crime.

1971 : Separation of the "Prohibition and Excise Laboratory" from the "Forensic Science Laboratory ".

1973 : Merger of Forensic Science Laboratory and Chemical Examiner's Laboratory.

1974 : Debut of two Regional Forensic Science Laboratories one at Madurai and the other at Coimbatore.

1976 : Began offering a two-year full time MSc., Forensic Science course with the affiliation of the University of Madras.(Temporarily suspended)

1980 : Merger of the "Prohibition and Excise Laboratory "with the mainstream of "Forensic Science Laboratory".

1981 : Recognized for conducting Ph.D Programmes.

1984 : Renamed in its present form as "Forensic Sciences Department".

Old Traceable Report


Madras 30th October 1849


Surgeon T.Rey


Captain I.Maitland


Government Carriage Manufactory,



In answer to your letter as per No.286 dated 20th October 1849 may I have the honour to inform you that I do not think it possible by any chemical process to ascertain the relative physical properties of wood of different kinds. Their hardness and tenacity can only be measured by mechanical means and it must depend in a way upon the ultimate .................and return herewith the samples of wood sent and remain.

Yours Obedient servant,

P.Thomas Rey Surgeon (Chemical Examiner) Madras

30th October 1849