Finger Print Bureau


The Finger Print Bureau is an important Scientific Investigation wing of the Kerala Police which helps various investigative agencies of Police Force in their fight against criminal activities. Apart from Kerala Police, the service of Kerala State Finger Print Bureau is utilised by CBI, NIA, Interpol and other state Police Forces. The working of the Finger Print Bureau is unique among the Scientific Investigation Wings. Unlike other wings, it is the custodian of authentic Criminal Records of Kerala Police. Conviction details of all persons convicted in the state of Kerala are kept in the Kerala State Finger Print Bureau along with their fingerprints. These crime – criminal finger print records are scientifically classified and are periodically updated.

Finger Print Bureau is a scientific arm of the Police department which gives authentic and conclusive evidence about the identity of forged documents, impersonations and of perpetrators of crimes.


The Kerala State Finger Print Bureau has a history of about 115 years. Travancore Fingerprint Bureau, the fore-runner of Kerala State Finger Print Bureau was started in the erstwhile state of Travancore on 2-5-1900 by the then Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal. The Fingerprint Records of the neighbouring state of Cochin (started in September 1905) was amalgamated to the Travancore Bureau and came to be known as Travancore-Cochin Bureau from 30-6-1950. When the Kerala state was formed in 1956, the Kerala State Finger Print Bureau started its function by infusing the finger print records of the Malabar District along with the Travancore - Cochin Bureau. The functional directions of the Kerala State Finger Print Bureau was approved through the Kerala Government Order No. MS.820/1958/Home (A) Dated 2-7-1958. It is worthwhile to note that the First Finger Print Bureau in the world was started in 1897 in Calcutta and in Scotland Yard, Finger Print Bureau began to function only in 1905.

Organisational Structure

Kerala State Finger Print Bureau of the Police Department is headed by a Director and functions directly under the Additional Director General of Police, State Crime Records Bureau. The Bureau comprises of the State Finger Print Bureau at Thiruvananthapuram, Nineteen District/City Finger Print Bureaux (known as Single Digit Finger Print Bureaux) at District/City levels.

Different Wings and Roles

Finger Print Bureau has mainly two wings. The State Finger Print Bureau, head quartered at Thiruvananthapuram and the Single Digit Finger Print Bureaux in each Police Districts.

State Finger Print Bureau

The main functions of this Bureau are:
  • Record Wing:
    • Recording of Finger Print Slips of convicted persons in the state.
    • Maintenance and updation of Fingerprint & conviction details of convicted persons
  • Search Wing
    • Search of Finger Print Slips to furnish previous history of arrested persons. Whenever a person is arrested, his finger Print slip will be taken and forwarded to the bureau. On searching the same among the records we can find out whether he/she is an ex-convict, his actual name and address, how many convictions have been recorded in his name, whether he is wanted in any cases, and in which cases he had been traced for etc.
    • Identification of un-identified dead bodies: - Whenever an un-identified dead body is found, its finger prints are taken and forwarded to the bureau. We can find out the identity, if he is an ex-convict. If it is suspected as that of some known person, but could not be identified, it can be identified by using some specimens finger prints from documents like title deeds, Thumb impression register of the Sub-Registrar's Office, identity cards etc.
  • Document Wing
    • Furnishing Expert Opinion in Civil & Criminal cases regarding Fingerprint Disputes.
  • AFIS (Automated Finger Print Identification System)
    • Bureau is maintaining a database of about 1,20,000 criminals which is frequently updated. The system has helped the identification of several unsolved cases which include the detection of other state cases.
  • Advanced Research Laboratory
    • Government have sanctioned an advanced research laboratory which will start functioning in the coming year. This will augment original contributions in the field of Dactyloscopy
  • Training
    • Finger Print Bureau is imparting training to professional of various branches. This includes Medical DG and PG students, Law students, Engineering PG students etc. This is in addition to the training imparted to judicial officers and police officers
  • Other Functions
    • Jail Testing to prevent impersonation and to ensure the accuracy of criminal profile details. The Inspectors of the State Fingerprint Bureau frequently visit Jails to check whether the persons originally convicted by the court are put behind the bars
    • Giving oral evidence in courts: - The experts are required to give oral evidence in courts whenever they are cited as expert witnesses
    • Attestation of Finger Prints of civilians for immigration purposes

Single Digit Finger Print Bureau

There are district units of the Finger Print bureau, having offices in all the Police Districts. Unlike the main bureau, the Single Digit Bureaux have ten record cards for each convicts, one record for each finger (digit). These records are called Single Digit Fingerprint Records. Hence the name, Single Digit Finger Print Bureau. These district units are directly aiding criminal investigation. The main functions of the bureau are

  • Inspection of Scene of Crime to gather Fingerprint Evidence. The finger print experts of the Single Digit Finger Print Bureau visit scenes of crime immediately on receipt of request from the investigating officers. They develop chance prints using different optical, physical and chemicals means and photograph the chance prints developed. All sorts of modern technology are being utilised for developing and recording chance prints from the scene of crime.
  • Comparison of Chance Prints. The chance prints developed are compared, manually and automatically, with the available records, daily arrest finger print slips, prints of suspected persons etc. and zero in on the culprit. Un-identified chance prints are kept and regularly compared with the incoming Daily Arrest Fingerprint Slips received from Police Stations of that district. The un-identified chance prints are also compared with the finger print slips recorded in the AFIS at FPB for a state-wide search. Finger Print Experts of the Single Digit Finger Print Bureau frequently visit other district bureaux in the state as well as outside the state for comparison of chance prints
  • Maintains Single Digit Records of convicted persons. Finger prints of all the persons convicted in the district are kept recorded in the Bureau
  • Giving oral evidence in courts: - The Finger Print Expert who inspected the Scene of Crime will be an Expert Witness in that case. They are required to give oral evidence in courts
  • Attestation of finger prints for immigration purposes

Direct Public service given by Finger Print Bureau

  • Attestation of Fingerprints for immigration or other purposes
  • Expert Opinion in Document Cases
  • Attestation of Fingerprints for immigration or other purposes

The immigration departments of several countries require Police Clearance Certificate for which attested fingerprint of the immigrant is required. Such immigrants may approach the Director, State Finger Print Bureau or Tester Inspectors of District Finger Print Bureaux with a written request on white paper for taking their fingerprint and to attest the same. They will remit Rs.1000/- (Rs. 100/- for additional copy) in any Govt. treasury under the head of Account "0055 Police – 501 service & service fee". The following documents are to be produced at the Finger Print Bureau.

  • An application addressed to the Director / Tester Inspector
  • Original Chalan of remittance of fee.
  • Valid passport with copies of relevant pages.
  • Proof of present residence, like ration card / electoral card / driving license (with copies)
  • Two passport size Photographs(Extra for additional copies)

The applicant has to appear in person before the officers concerned and get their finger prints recorded and the attested. For further clarification please contact Director, Finger Print Bureau in phone numbers: 0471 2551483, Mobile: 9497975928.


Expert Opinion in Document Cases

Application for Expert Opinion shall be forwarded through a court of law to the Director, Finger Print Bureau with the following documents.

  • Standard Requisition form
  • Original document for comparison
  • Original Chalan of remittance of fee

The applicant will remit Rs.1000/- for opinion and Rs. 100/- for each print to be compared as photographic Fee in any Govt. treasury under the head of Account "0055 Police – 501 service & service fee".

When an Expert is summoned by the court in Civil Cases, the absence fee has to be paid as follows:

One day salary of the Expert concerned plus Rs.100/- for each day of his/her absence from the office in the above head of account. Additionally, the applicable TA/DA due to the Expert should be paid by the applicant by means of Money Order/DD directly to the Expert concerned in advance.

Some of the Good Work Done by the Bureau

  • The District Bureau of Kannur identified a memorable case in which ripper model attacks staged in Kerala and Karnataka. The last case in the ripper model attack was in a residence at Parassinikkadavu concerned in Cr.No. 60/86 U/S 452, 307 IPC. In this scene of Crime, the chance print was developed from an empty Horlicks bottle which contains coconut oil. The date of occurrence of the case was on 11/02/1986 and the case was identified on 20/02/1986 and the accused in this case was one Muthukutty Chandran, S/O Kunjambu involved in Cr.No. 80/78 of Neeleswar P.S. This identification has brought the curtain down on the ripper model series of cases. The accused, ripper Chandran was sentenced with capital punishment and his punishment was executed at Central Prison, Kannur.
  • Identification of dead bodies of persons killed in encounter at Kashmir Finger Print Bureau has identified a National Investigation Agencies case enrouted through Additional Director General of Police, Intelligence related a case in an encounter at Kashmir by militants. The encountered militants were killed by army and the finger prints of unidentified dead bodies were got searched in our Bureau records and identified the bodies as:
    • Puthiyapurayil Fayaz S/O Hamza aged 23/2008, PP House, Kannur involved in Cr.No. 111/08 of Chakkarakkal.P.S U/S 392 IPC.
    • Abdu Raheem, S/O Saidu Aged 24/2005 Koyarankankath (H), Chettipodi Desam, Parappanangadi Village, involved in Cr.No. 469/2005 of Kalamassery P.S. These two identification and the where abouts of the accused established their identity which were very helpful to the NIA to detect the case.
  • Thrissur Rural District has identified a case in Cr.No. 1503/2010 U/S 457, 380 and 461 IPC of Irinjalakkuda P.S, which was a theft occurred on 29/11/2010 at Holy Cross Church, Mappranam, Irinjalakkuda, Thrissur and the accused stolen away articles of Thiruseship with antique value from the Church. The scene of crime was inspected by the Expert and developed prints from the box where the Thiruseship were kept. The developed print was searched our Bureau records and identified the culprit through chance print who was Shakthidharan @ Sasi @ Karthikeyan S/O Sankaran, Kondiyara House, Moonnupeedika, Mathilakom on 04/12/2010.
  • District Unit of Kollam City was identified a sensational murder case in Cr.No. 796/12 U/S 302 IPC of Parippally P.S. The case is one Maniyan Pillai, Driver HC aged 49 of Parippally.P.S who was on night patrolling duty was stabbed by a culprit, and escaped in his Maruthi Omni Van. Later the vehicle was examined by the Expert and developed chance prints compared with the Bureau records and identified the print as right thumb impressions of one Antony @ Adu Antony S/O Varghese, Neduvila Vadakkethil House, Perayam, Kundara was an accused in Cr.No. 375/12 of Kollam East P.S. He was also involved in several other crimes in Kollam District.
  • District unit, Kottayam identified a case in Cr.No. 1188/14 U/S 457, 380 IPC of Manarcadu.P.S, which was occurred on 27/11/2014 and identified the culprit through chance print on the next day, ie, 28/11/2014. The place of occurrence was at the residence of ZACHARIAS MAR Poly Carp Bishop Malabar Dioces (Jacobites) and property worth Rs. 3,40,000/- was stolen away by the culprit. The Modus Operandi was back door breaking. Chance print developed from the scene was identified as culprit one Vasantha Kumar, S/O Shanmughan, Gandhi Nagar Street, Palayamkotta, Thirunelvely from the records of our Bureau
  • Kollam( Rural) District unit has identified a case in Cr. No. 1600/2014 of Kottarakkara P.S. The scene occurred in between 17/08/2014 to 20/08/2014 and 70 sov. Gold and household articles were lost. The modus operandi was front door lock breaking. The theft was happened on the residence of one Susan Sajeev Panicker, Chonazhikon, Newudayil, Panaveli, Kottayam. The developed print was very feeble and the same was searched at AFIS, Thiruvananthapuram and identified it as one culprit Shihab S/o Meera Sahib, Paravila Puthenveedu, Vaidyalaya Junction, Thalachira Kavala, Kottarakkara on 26/08/2014


  • Is there any fee required for the inspection of a Scene of Crime?
  • Ans.: - No; It is absolutely free.

  • Whom should be contacted to get a scene of Crime inspected by a Finger Print Expert?
  • Ans.: - First you have to register a compliant with the concerned Police Station. The Investigative Officer will contact the District Finger Print Bureau for utilising the service of Finger Print Expert.

Last updated on 12-01-2018