Over 7,000 cases are pending in the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) at Rohini, and 1,479 of those samples may no longer yield accurate results as they have crossed their one-year expiry date, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) pointed out to the Delhi government’s home department on Wednesday.
Calling it “an extremely serious lapse” on the part of the department, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal issued a notice to the home secretary, seeking an explanation and a report by November 12. Many of the samples pertain to cases of rape and murder of women, Maliwal stated in the notice.
“Sent Notice to Home Secy as Forensic Lab stated dat 1479 sample hv expired, wil no longer give accurate result. Denial of justice to victims(sic),” Maliwal tweeted. According to the DCW notice, 7,290 cases are pending before the FSL, dealing with testing bio-forensic, DNA, documentary, chemical and computer forensic unit samples.
“Apart from documentary evidence (DOC), all other samples have a validity of one year, within which an accurate report can be prepared. This means that for 1,479 samples, accurate report can no longer be prepared as these cases have been pending in the laboratory since 2011. Moreover, 2,169 samples have been pending since 2014 and one-year period within which an accurate report can be prepared, may have already expired or may be on the verge of expiry… Many of these samples belong to cases concerning rape and murder of women and girls. This appears to be an extremely serious lapse… ,” Maliwal stated in the notice.
She noted that the lab, which is facing an acute staff crunch, has admitted its inability to test samples in time. “The pendency is so huge that they have admitted that they are failing to carry out their basic function of testing and are only taking action when some court takes cognisance of the case and even then the time taken to give the report is quite high,” she wrote.
“… Hundreds of cases including grievous cases of child rapes and gangrapes have been pending for a long time and await a report from FSL. The fact that as many as 1,469 samples have been lying in the FSL since 2011 and may no longer produce accurate results is a huge blow to the victims of grievous crimes of gangrapes and rapes of children and women. Such lapses are unacceptable as they result in denial of justice to the victims,” stated Maliwal in the notice.