The Bombay high court on Friday said the state government should consider outsourcing the forensic examination of evidence in criminal cases to reliable private entities.
The division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice PD Naik felt it necessary that the Maharashtra government outsource the forensic examination of documents, blood samples and weapons used to commit crimes. It stated that in several cases, the filing of the charge sheet against the accused is delayed as the forensic reports are received late.
The directive came after assistant public prosecutor Mankuwar Deshmukh informed the bench that two forensic science laboratories have recently been started at Nanded and Kolhapur, in addition to the six forensic science laboratories in the state. She added that 45 mobile forensic units have been provided to each police unit chief – 9 commissioners of police and 36 superintendents of police.
The bench, however, felt that these measures were inadequate to cater to the state’s increasing needs.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Sangola resident Bhiva Hazare — who complained about the delay in the investigation into his son’s murder — and a public interest litigation raising similar issues. Hazare said that though the Sangola police station in Solapur registered an offence on the basis of his complaint on February 28, 2012, the investigation had not been completed.
The judges told KP Bakshi, additional chief secretary (home department) that the state should regularly provide special training to police personnel so they can improve their investigating skills.
“We have been sending agriculturists to Israel to learn about modern agricultural techniques, then why not send our police officers for special training. Why not at least provide them with special training by experts available in the country,” said the bench.
It expressed displeasure at the police technique of visiting crime scenes and recording the statements of witnesses as the only steps taken to investigate the crime.The judges noted that hardly any other methods of collecting evidence are carried out by the police.