Forensic labs for crimes against women to be set up in the country
01 June 2018
Chnadigarh will soon have the forensic laboratory dealing exclusively with cases of crimes against women.
The lab, to be located at the Central Forensic Science Lab, Chandigarh, will primarily be equipped with a large number of special forensic kits for rape cases. Five more such labs will be set up in in next three months to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases.
Speaking at the event, women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi said that forensic analysis plays critical role in criminal investigation and theses advanced labs will contribute to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country.
Gandhi added that the lab is being set up as a model forensic lab and would be replicated in other parts of the country.
She said the current capacity of CFSL, Chandigarh, is below 160 cases per year and these labs, called Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, is estimated to increase the capacity to 2,000 cases per year.
The labs in Chennai and Mumbai would be set up with funds from women and child development ministry, while remaining three would be funded by the home ministry. To meet international standards and deliver timely justice to women, advanced forensic DNA laboratories with latest high throughput DNA technology, are required, she added.
Underscoring the importance of the forensics in nabbing sexual offenders,she said that special forensic kits for rape would be distributed to all the police stations and hospitals by end July.
The forensic rape kits currently with CFSL Chandigarh are for validation and will be used for providing uncontaminated evidence. These kits would contain a complete list of evidence samples to be collected along with the equipment required to collect the evidence. The kits would be locked and sealed before being sent to forensic labs. The details of name of the person, date and time of sealing the kit would be recorded in the kit.
In sexual assault cases, the ideal time frame to complete the examination and submission of report is 90 days. Furthermore, it is important that the biological crime exhibit is stored and preserved in scientific manner so as to make any examination/reporting meaningful. However, presently such a storage/preservation capacity is around 200 cases in CFSL, Chandigarh.
At present there are six Central Forensic Science Labs (CFSLs) in Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhopal and one State Forensic Science Lab in each state and union territory. These labs are responsible for conducting forensic analysis of all cases in the country including sexual assault, criminal paternity and homicide.