The forensic lab in Pune will soon have DNA testing facilities and share the workload of the Kalina FSL, speeding up cases delayed by over 2,000 pending DNA test reports.
Currently, the forensic science laboratories at Kalina and Nagpur handle DNA testing for all crimes in Maharashtra. The DNA testing facility will be set up in Pune FSL by December and tackle samples found at crime scenes in Pune and nine surrounding districts. These were earlier sent to the Kalina lab. Being spared this workload will help the Kalina FSL work through over 2,000 samples it is yet to test. Some of these samples have remained untested for years.
Setting up the facility will cost the state about Rs 1-3 crore, according to state FSL director Dr MK Malve. “We have got approval for setting up a DNA testing facility at the Pune FSL as well. Currently, only our forensic labs in Mumbai and Nagpur have facilities for testing DNA,” he said.
The DNA testing facility at Pune will also cater to nine districts around Pune. “Most of these districts would send DNA samples to the Mumbai FSL for testing. The Mumbai FSL finds it hard to cope with the rising number of DNA samples from cases in Mumbai alone. The samples sent from other districts only added to the workload,” said an official from Mumbai FSL.
“It should help reduce the Mumbai FSL’s DNA testing workload by at least 25%,” Malve said. Currently, the Nagpur FSL tackles samples from districts in eastern Maharashtra, while the rest of the districts send samples to Kalina FSL.
Several case probes have been seriously delayed because of the FSL’s backlog, including investigation into the three cases of minors raped and murdered in Colaba and Cuffe Parade last year.