Can a Sanskrit teacher teach mathematics? Or, for that matter, a physics teacher history?
Certainly not! But this is exactly what is happening in the State Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Patna.
The scientists and forensic experts posted in the ballistic division at the state FSL have been examining the exhibits of chemical analysis division.
Not only that, even officials, who do not have the requisite qualification, are examining exhibits and sending reports to the respective courts. For example, U K Sinha, who was earlier posted as a senior scientist with the ballistic division, examined the court exhibits in connection with a vigilance police station case for which he did not have the requisite qualification.
Information made available to Dr Lallan Choudhary under Right to Information Act by the office of the director of Forensic Science Laboratory revealed that Sinha examined the exhibits (CFSL 926/06 dated 24.04.2007) related to the chemical analysis division, this despite the fact that he was not an expert of the division concerned.
“As per rules, Sinha was not competent to examine exhibits,” a letter sent to Choudhary by the assistant director of the State FSL on April 22, 2009, said.
Similarly, Rekha Kumari, who is posted as an assistant with the chemical analysis division, examined exhibits (CFSL 926/06 dated 24.04.2007) under the supervision of Sinha. Though, she is not competent to examine the exhibit, she did the same and sent the report to the court concerned.
Sources said more than 100 reports had been submitted to the special vigilance court by officials in gross violation of the prescribed norms.
The assistant director’s letter clearly stated that at present there was no competent official at the state FSL to examine the court exhibits and send reports. More than 200 exhibits related to trap cases have been sent to the FSL for examination.
Moreover, the reports are sent to the special vigilance court on the format of Ranchi FSL. “Use of the format of Ranchi FSL for sending reports to the court is illegal,” admitted a senior scientist, who was earlier posted at the regional forensic science laboratory at Muzaffarpur. He said discrepancies in test reports could benefit the accused.