Central FSLs to chip in to reduce Delhi lab’s backlog

With more than 5,000 viscera and 500 DNA samples still awaiting analysis at the city’s Forensic Science Laboratory,the Union Home Ministry has agreed to forward cases to central FSLs to reduce the backlog.

Written by Apurva | New Delhi | Published:September 14, 2012 12:47 am

With more than 5,000 viscera and 500 DNA samples still awaiting analysis at the city’s Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL),the Union Home Ministry has agreed to forward cases to central FSLs to reduce the backlog.

The Delhi government has also suggested organisational changes to the FSL,including the appointment of retired defence personnel to head the body and a new DNA unit to improve its efficiency.

The Home Ministry on Thursday agreed,in principle,to transfer cases to the central FSLs in Kolkata,Chandigarh and Hyderabad to reduce the Delhi FSL’s pendency.

A senior Delhi Home department official told Newsline,“Currently,there are at least 1,300 viscera samples awaiting testing,which is just not possible at the moment. In all,figures show that while the unit disposes close to 350 cases a month,they receive at least 400 new cases every month.”

He said the FSL,at present,had yet to complete analysis on 5,769 viscera samples and 568 DNA samples.

According to the Home department,the cases referred to the FSL have increased drastically in the past two years. Records show that in 2010,the FSL dealt 140 viscera cases a month,which jumped to 300 a month in 2011 and 400 this year.

“The numbers have increased for DNA tests as well. We handled about 20 a month two years ago and now receive 90 to 100 DNA cases a month,” a senior official said.

There are other issues plaguing the Delhi FSL. For at least five years now,bickering within the unit and litigation in court has severely depleted its efficiency.

An FSL official said,“We have only recently managed to clear out several cases in court,which scientists and technicians in the FSL file against each other. This has vitiated our efficiency. This is why we have recommended that an administrator from an armed forces background be appointed.”

Sources in the FSL stated that all criminal cases need not be referred to the FSL. “We found that in at least 25 per cent of cases referred to us,the post-mortem report is very clear on the the cause of death. Yet,these cases are sent to us for establishing the same,” an FSL official said.

The Delhi government also maintained that a new DNA-specific lab was in the pipeline,while staff in the existing unit would soon be increased. “We will soon appoint 80 employees,on contract,in the Delhi FSL. This will include 68 officers,which will consist of eight assistant directors and 30 senior scientists. We are taking all measures to clear the backlog in Delhi,” a senior official said.

Too much on plate

Currently,there are at least 1,300 viscera samples awaiting testing at the Delhi FSLwhile the unit disposes close to 350 cases a month,they receive at least 400 new cases every month.

Records show that in 2010,the FSL dealt 140 viscera cases a month,which jumped to 300 a month in 2011 and 400 this year

The unit receives about 90 to 100 DNA cases a month

Some of the cases to be transferred to the central FSLs in Kolkata,Chandigarh and Hyderabad

In the pipeline

A new DNA-specific lab to be set up at Delhi FSL 80 employees to be recruited on contract. This will include 68 officers,eight assistant directors and 30 senior scientists

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