IN A first, the Director General (Legal and Technical) has asked the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSLs) across Maharashtra to keep a track of cases in which forensic evidence has been collected. This is to map the role of forensic evidence in securing convictions.
The records will be scrutinised after a year to see how the FSLs have fared. The data will also serve as a ready reckoner for future investigations and provide guidance to scientists while assisting probe agencies.
“We have undertaken this exercise to study the contribution of forensic evidence in bagging convictions. The exercise is a first in the state and we plan to evaluate the result by next year,” DG (Legal and Technical) SP Yadav told The Indian Express.
The DG for the legal and technical department is a new post created by the Maharashtra government to provide guidance to the Directorate of Prosecution and Directorate of FSL in policing matters.Under this exercise, FSL officers will maintain a record of the nature of forensic evidence gathered from every crime scene. They will then be required to track the progress in the investigation and how it has scientifically assisted the case. They will also be required the follow the trial in the case. Once the case concludes, the officers will have to prepare a detailed report on the views of the court on the forensic evidence.
“Going by traditional figures, forensic evidence contributes 20 per cent in the overall conviction but there has never been a formal study done to find out how much an investigation agency has relied on scientific tools and how much of it was appreciated by the court while delivering judgments. The study will serve as a ready reckoner for future cases,” said another senior official.
Recently, the Mumbai Police had used forensic evidence in solving the murder of model Kritika Chaudhary. Chaudhary was found murdered in her suburban home in June this year.
In the past , the local police managed to secure conviction in the Shakti Mills gangrape case based on forensic evidence, which included soil samples found on the shoes of the accused matching the soil inside Shakti Mills in south-central Mumbai. “Forensic evidence plays a crucial role. It is a piece of evidence, which, if proven true, adduces confidence of the court and can seldom be refuted and therefore, now, there is an added brief given to the police to collect the evidence,” added the official.