B Lal, the expert appointed by HindustanTimes.com to match Bhagwanji’s and Netaji’s handwritings, has concluded that they are of “common authorship”.Among other things, Lal says:
There is “no evidence to show that the questioned (Bhagwanji’s) writing has been made by a writer other than SCB (Subhas Chandra Bose) by imitating/copying the writings of SCB”.
Bhagwanji tried to hide his identity but failed.
There are “…similarities in general and individual writing habits, …suggesting common authorship of questioned writings and admitted writings of SCB”.
While pointing to the lack of muscular control, sign of old age and slight tremor in some of the writings, Lal also observes “a reproduction of some peculiarities that even decades could not hide”. As examples, he points to the habit, both of Bhagwanji and Netaji, of using insertion marks to introduce words between sentences, over writing on letters and underlining and bracketing passages for emphasis, making strokes more prominent and writing letters in a certain combination.Indeed, matching the samples was no easy task. Most of Bhagwanji’s handwriting samples were notes left on the margins of pages. Also, most of the writing samples belonged to the ’70s and ’80s, whereas the samples of Netaji’s writing were of pre-1943 years. To complicate matters, Bhagwanji had also written in upper case to disguise his hand.
Lal has 44 years of experience studying and analysing documents, both for the government and for private groups. Before retiring as Additional Director of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, he was the Chief Government Examiner in Questioned Documents. (Lal will defend his report, if the Mukherjee Commission so demands.)
Handwriting analysis is admissible evidence in courts nowadays, and is as significant as fingerprint analysis. In fact, Mukherjee Commission visited Faizabad treasury on November 26, 2001, to collect samples for DNA and handwriting tests from Bhagwanji’s belongings preserved there. (The samples may reach the Commission’s Kolkata office in early May.)