An examination will be held on October 18 and 19 to fill up 79 vacant posts at forensic science laboratories (FSL) across Maharashtra.
The state government announced the examination dates following a Bombay high court order.
The directive requires the state government to fill up vacant posts in state FSLs and take a decision on setting up mini-laboratories at the district and taluka-level within two months.
The court has been hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the paucity of such laboratories in the state.
FSLs are essential for a range of criminal probes and provide scientific support such DNA profiling, serology (body fluid analysis), fingerprinting, toxicology reports, among other things.
In its September 5 order, the high court described the number of pending cases with FSLs as alarming and said that it was the duty of the state to ensure speedy and quality investigations.
An earlier affidavit filed by the state indicated that there were more than 10,000 cases pending until June 30 this year in the six state laboratories.
Amicus curiae S Kotwal had pointed out that two factors contributed to the delay in the investigation: the heavy load on the existing laboratories and the time taken for sending samples. “It is the duty of the state to ensure there is quality investigation and expeditious investigation,” said the order. “It is also the duty of the state to ensure there is speedy trial.”
The government had earlier expressed reluctance to set up mini labs, a move that the court had questioned.
The state will also have to take a final decision on setting up new laboratories at Nanded and Kolhapur, proposals for which are pending. It will also have to file an affidavit setting out the provisions for 24 additional post-mortem centres.
The matter will next be heard on December 16.