Context: The role of Quality Forensic Labs and well Trained staff in the criminal Justice System

What is Forensic Science?

  • forensic science is  the application of the methods of the natural and physical sciences in matters of criminal and civil crime.
  • Applicable in the investigation and prosecution of crimes such as rape, murder, and drug trafficking related crimes
  • There is rigorous technique involved, such as controlled conditions, dependable statistics collection and the attempt to disprove hypotheses. 
  • Methodologies such as post-mortem procedures, fingerprinting, testing and matching for poisons, blood spatter evaluation, matching weapons to bullets fired (ballistics), voice pattern matches, handwriting checks and DNA evaluation are all aspects of forensic science.

Incompetency of Forensic Facility in our Justice System

  • In India, we have an insufficient number of FSLs and staff.
  • There are only seven central forensic laboratories in India at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Guwahati, Bhopal and Pune.
  • Six of them, barring Delhi, are under the control of the Directorate of Forensic Science Services (DFSS), and its challenge is to render high quality and credible forensic results to the justice delivery system.
  • A National Forensic Sciences University was set up in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in 2020.
  •  The current National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science in Delhi has been tied up into this new university.There are 32 state FSLs and approximately 529 mobile FSL units, of which Delhi has one state FSL and 6 mobile units. The DNA examinations discovered in 1985 are used to identify individuals involved in alleged crimes.
  • In 2017, The Hindu mentioned that even as the UK completes DNA testing on over 60,000 crimes annually, India with over thirteen instances the populace completes such checks on much less than 7,500 cases. 
  •  The average dependency on every lab is huge.
  • In all states, there had been over 50 % vacancies in employees at their facilities.

Way Forward:

  • More funding: We actually need greater funding in the established order of FSL laboratories, the training and appointment of employees adept at forensic methodologies and reforms inside our police to set up an expertised and skilled detective cadre tasked with solving complicated and heinous crimes. 
  • Quality education and accreditation: There is a immediate need for good quality training facilities, standards of accreditation and non-stop training programmes for our forensic
  • It isn't always extra legislation and harsher punishments that will solve crimes, however well-skilled forensic workforce plying their craft in appropriate quality laboratories so as to aid our criminal justice system.