THE UTTAR PRADESH Police approached the Maharashtra Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) headquartered at Kalina last week to observe its functioning so that the same could be replicated in northern state. The UP government, in the process of establishing a second DNA lab in Varanasi, is interested in seeing procedures used by the Maharashtra FSL that conducts DNA tests in large numbers.
IPS officer Mahendra Modi, the UP Director General (Technical Services), also looked at the functioning of the cyber department and the proposed identification kits for meat samples, which will be used to test and declare in 30 minutes if a sample is beef. Modi visited the Maharashtra FSL Wednesday.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Modi, a 1986 batch officer, said, “There is a backlog of nearly 5,000 cases when it comes to samples pending DNA tests. We have the sole DNA testing laboratory in Lucknow for the entire state, which is inadequate. Hence, we are in the process of opening a second DNA laboratory in Varanasi. We want to make it state of the art and are checking the best practices followed across the country.” Modi, who heads the UP FSL, added, “Maharashtra is among the top states when it comes to forensic infrastructure. Hence, I decided to check the procedures followed by them, especially related to the DNA tests.”
Modi, a batchmate of Maharashtra DG (Legal and Technical) S P Yadav, said one of the things that they would be keen to emulate was the ‘rapid analysis’ system used by the Maharashtra FSL. “Rather than wait for chemicals every time a DNA test is to be conducted, they use a technology whereby rapid analysis is done. While initially the technology may be expensive, in the long run it proves economical and there are no recurring expenditures.” Acting director of Maharashtra FSL K Kulkarni said, “We have especially recommended the rapid analysis technology as it will help them bring down pendency at a rapid pace as compared to other methods.”
“Apart from the technology, I was also interested in how their government order — government resolution (GR) — is drawn when it comes to procurement of technology,” Modi said. “It is less rigid as compared to our system and makes procurement formalities less tedious. I will be informing our government about the same and try convincing them to use this method,” he added. The UP Police would soon send a study team to the Maharashtra FSL to study the finer details.
UP currently has five FSL centres across the state, with the Lucknow centre having the DNA facility. “Within a year, we are hopeful of starting DNA testing facility in Varanasi and hopefully Agra as well if it gets approved by the government,” said the IPS officer.