By T S Sudhir
`Truth’ pretty much is his favourite word. It figures in every second or third sentence he speaks. I am talking about Kaza Poornachandra Gandhi (K P C Gandhi to most of us) who wears Gandhi-ism not just on his sleeve, but on his nameplate and visiting card as well.
Gandhi, one of the country’s foremost forensic science experts, is the founder-chairman of Truth Labs, that claims to be India’s first independent forensic science lab, with centres in Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore.
Gandhi is ironically in the news just a week after Anna Hazare brought Gandhigiri back into fashion. After an audio CD surfaced that cast aspersions on the integrity and stature of former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan, who was chosen as one of the members of the civil society panel on the Lok Pal Bill, Truth Labs has just reported that it found the CD “doctored”.
“A cut and paste job in layman terms,” says Gandhi.
Gandhi’s report puts him in direct confrontation with those who quote other unnamed forensic labs that vouch for the authenticity of the controversial CD. Afterall, it is all part of a high stakes political tug-of-war in Delhi.
Gandhi says his lab that has handled more than 1200 cases since 2007, has state-of-the-art technology and 30 of the best trained minds in the business. Among them Dr S R Singh, the country’s leading expert in voice spectrographic analysis. Singh and four others worked for 12 hours between April 16 and 17, without a break to analyse the 1:55 min CD, to conclude it is a fake.
“Truth must prevail, nothing else matters,” says Gandhi.
I have known Gandhi for the last decade and a half, from the time he presided over the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Lab in Hyderabad. I met him today at his office at Truth Labs, where his bookshelf is lined with works of Gandhi, Nehru, Shakespeare and Sophacles. Overlooking the room is a picture of the Mahatma, shot in 1946 at Sabarmati Ashram, where Bapu is observing a specimen of the plague virus through a microscope. That photograph, coloured from the original black and white, is pretty much is in sync with what this Gandhi seeks to do.
The life and times of Bapu have been a huge influence on this Gandhi, who interestingly took over from where the Mahatma left. KPC was born on January 30, 1948 in Vijayawada, one of the reasons why his parents gave him his name. Thus Kaza Poornachandra Rao became K P C Gandhi. The Mahatma had visited his house in 1927 as well and Gandhi in fact travelled to Sabarmati to peruse the records to check what date exactly the Mahatma was in Vijayawada and found it to be April 10-11, 1927.
And when the time came to relinquish his job at the APFSL, Gandhi chose March 12, 2007, the day Mahatma Gandhi set off on the Dandi March, to bid goodbye. The Mahatma pretty much an integral part of Gandhi’s calender of life.
Gandhi had made APFSL into a zero pendency lab, which meant no case stayed there for more time than it was required. Today Gandhi’s team of `the scientific detectives’ is out to ensure, the truth is told in each case, and fast.