The Delhi government Thursday told the Delhi High Court about its plan to technologically upgrade its forensic science laboratory at Rohini in West Delhi and fill up all its vacancies to facilitate quick investigation into criminal cases.
Delhi Principal Home Secretary O.P. Kelkar, appearing before a bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice S.N. Agrawal, said the state government was initiating steps to fill up about 45 vacancies in the laboratory within three weeks.
The government would also upgrade the lab's technology for proper and quick analysis of samples, Kelker said. The court had summoned him to reply to its queries.
During the last hearing on March 20, counsel for the government had submitted that the government's forensic laboratory at Rohini did not have sufficient staff and the government was trying to procure staff on deputation from other departments.
But the court said, 'How could other departments release their staff, when there is scarcity everywhere?'
The central and state governments should fill up the vacancies in the forensic laboratories all over the country for a thorough investigation of criminal cases, the court said Thursday.
'Let's fill the vacancies first, then we will take care of infrastructure and additional facilities,' it observed.
The court had earlier directed the Union and state governments to augment the facilities and to provide sufficient staff at the laboratories in Delhi, Kolkota, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and other places.
The Union home ministry was asked to tackle the problem on an emergency basis so that investigation of criminal cases was not scuttled.
While appointing Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra as amicus curie to assist the court, the bench had said, 'due to delay and lack of proper examination of samples most of the criminal cases lead to acquittal.'
On a direction by a Delhi sessions judge, a probe was conducted on the delay in getting reports of the samples relating to various crimes.
The probe had found that due to delay, in many cases the poison in the samples was not detected, which in turn led to acquittal of the accused.
It said that more than 4,000 samples were lying at the Rohini lab of forensic science for analysis.
Taking cognizance of the matter on its own, the high court had issued notice to the authorities for a reply on the state of affairs in the forensic labs all over the country.
'It is not only delaying the proceedings of the case, but also the case of the prosecution,' said the order.