Taking note of the plummeting conviction rates in Maharashtra due to high number of pending forensic reports, the state’s home department on Thursday decided to establish 36 forensic labs – one in each district in the state.
Till December 2014, there were 17,361 pending cases in the state, of which 1,242 were related to cyber-crime. The other cases were related to DNA testing, narcotics, weapon forensics, among others. On an average, a case takes a month to be readied in the form of a report.
“At present, we have only eight laboratories in major metros in the state. There is severe pendency of cases. One such case is waiting for 35 months because there is a dearth of labs and advanced testing technology, because of which we have decided to install 45 labs,” said minister of state for home (rural) Ram Shinde. He said an initial fund of Rs23 crore has been allotted for the same.
In the past, the state has been forced to outsource the work. In the Javkheda Dalit killings case, the conviction was delayed as forensics reports were sought from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
There are 718 people working in forensics labs at present in the state, almost 300 less than the required 1,031 staff members.