After receiving flak from the Delhi High Court over delay in testing of evidence at the Rohini forensic science laboratory (FSL), the government Friday said Home Minister Satyendar Jain had visited the lab last week and taken various decisions regarding upgrading it.
The issue is part of a PIL on women’s safety, taken up by the court after the December 16 gangrape case. Delhi government’s standing counsel Rahul Mehra said instead of developing “regional forensic labs” , the Rohini FSL will be “upgraded”.
Mehra also told the bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva that the government was looking into dealing with the “huge backlog” of samples. He said tenders have been floated to get additional machines for DNA testing and software for better management of cases. The government has also issued orders to fill up 133 vacancies for technical posts on a contract basis, said Mehra.
The steps were taken after the ministerial inspection found over 5,200 pending cases in the DNA/biology department. According to Mehra, the FSL receives about 250 cases of DNA/biology testing every month, but only disposes of 220 cases. The government has now proposed that seven additional teams for testing be created, while the existing teams have been asked to “double their output”.
Advocate Shailender Babbar, appearing for police, objected to the government’s stand. “Report card of police is being affected as… reports don’t come on time,” he said. The court has asked the government to give detailed timelines and reports on the proposed turnaround of the labs.