The Delhi government has given in-principle approval to set up a new forensic science laboratory (FSL) in the capital in a move expected to help Delhi Police clear the huge backlog of 9,000 criminal cases awaiting forensic analysis at various stages of litigation.
The forensic laboratory will be the second-of-its-kind in the Capital.
“A meeting attended by several senior government functionaries, including the chief secretary of the NCT of Delhi, the representatives of government land-owning agencies and the joint commissioner of the Delhi Police crime branch was held on Monday,” said a senior police officer, who was also present.
“The setting-up of another FSL facility on land to be soon allotted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to Delhi Police at Mehrauli in south Delhi was decided upon.”
The move come two months after HT had reported the issue.
HT had on August 15 highlighted the fact that the biological nature of a majority of these forensic samples —human extracts such as DNA and viscera — had an average lifespan of six months and might actually become quite unusable by the time they came up for analysis. A proposal to establish at least three forensic labs - one functioning within the jurisdiction of each range of Delhi Police — has been pending with the government since 2010, said senior police officers.
In addition to the new facility, the Rohini laboratory, which is severely understaffed and working overtime to clear the backlog with just 60% of its sanctioned strength, was asked to fill up the vacant posts, officials present at the meeting told HT.
“Officials representing the Rohini FSL were asked to take action and have already invited applications for filling up of eight vacant posts,” said another officer.
According to senior crime branch officials, as many as 500 new cases requiring forensic analysis are added to the inventory of pending cases at the Rohini FSL every 30 days, leaving them with no option but to seek the services of FSLs located in other cities such as Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Currently, Hyderabad handles 110 samples, Kolkata 50 and laboratories at Ahmedabad and Chandigarh 25 samples for Delhi after these are transported every month on trucks, the crime branch said.