Efficient writer identification systems identify the authorship of an unknown sample of text with high confidence. This has made automatic writer identification a very important topic of research for forensic document analysis. In this paper, we propose a robust system for offline text independent writer identification using bagged discrete cosine transform (BDCT) descriptors. Universal codebooks are first used to generate multiple predictor models. A final decision is then obtained by using the majority voting rule from these predictor models. The BDCT approach allows for DCT features to be effectively exploited for robust hand writer identification. The proposed system has first been assessed on the original version of hand written documents of various datasets and results have shown comparable performance with state-of-the-art systems. Next, blurry and noisy documents of two different datasets have been considered through intensive experiments where the system has been shown to perform significantly better than its competitors. To the best of our knowledge this is the first work that addresses the robustness aspect in automatic hand writer identification. This is particularly suitable in digital forensics as the documents acquired by the analyst may not be in ideal conditions.