Three months after a forensic laboratory,exclusively designated for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),was inaugurated in Navi Mumbai,first polygraph tests were conducted there on Friday.
A doctor was flown down from Delhi to carry out the test on a star witness in the murder of Punes Right to Information (RTI) activist Satish Shetty.
Dr Asha Shrivastava,who heads the forensic psychology department at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory,was called to the forensic laboratory at the agencys office in Belapur to conduct forensic tests.
More than 10 persons,including the accused in the (Shetty murder) case have already been examined at a laboratory in Pune. Now that we have our laboratory,we brought the witness here for examination, said an officer.
The multi-facility laboratory,which cost over Rs. 1.5 crore,was set up following a request for a dedicated centre to handle CBI cases only. It was started on June 4.
The laboratory is equipped with a Polygraph Test Machine,used for lie-detection,Government Examiner Questioned Documents (GEQD) to test the authenticity of documents,a fingerprint machine and a dedicated photo department for maintaining crime scene photograph data.
We are also expecting other facilities to start at this laboratory soon, said Sachin Kurhekar,a document examiner,who currently manages the laboratory.
Narco-analysis and polygraph test,although inadmissible in the court,are used to get leads during investigations. However,these tests can be conducted only with prior permission from the court concerned. According to sources,following the permission granted by the Special CBI court in Pune,a few accused and witnesses in the National Defence Academy (NDA) recruitment scam,too,were subjected to polygraph tests at the laboratory.
The 3,000-sq ft laboratory was scheduled to open by 2010-end. However,lack of experts and job vacancies delayed the opening.
Documents from cases being investigated in Pune,Nagpur,Goa and Gandhinagar in Gujarat will be examined and polygraph tests conducted at the laboratory.