The Delhi High Court Tuesday expressed strong displeasure over the forensic science laboratory (FSL) reports being compromised or manipulated, which could lead to “grave miscarriage” of justice.
A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice P S Teji ordered investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the irregularities, which it learnt of during the hearing of an appeal by the state against a trial court order, acquitting a man for raping a minor.
The court directed the CBI to register a preliminary inquiry and to look into the working of the FSL, including formation of reports on samples received by them, particularly DNA reports.
The bench said that reports prepared by a specific official from time to time be examined by the CBI in particular, and her activities be thoroughly investigated.
“If the preliminary inquiry discloses commission of cognizable offence by any of the persons involved in collection of samples and preparation of reports, the CBI shall, accordingly, proceed in the matter,” it added.
The court also set aside the trial court’s November 2016 acquittal order, and convicted Khursheed for offence under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
It concluded that on the first occasion when the FSL report was prepared, there was a mismatch in DNA found on the clothes of the minor and the DNA found on the blood sample of the accused. “In our considered view, in the face of the evidence led by the prosecution, the charge against the accused was established beyond all reasonable doubt,” the bench found.
The bench said the reports prepared by the FSL could have serious consequences for both the victim and the accused.
“A false report in favour of the accused would lead to grave miscarriage of justice for the victim and for the society at large, as the rule of law would stand subverted with the acquittal of an offender, who deserves to be brought to justice,” the bench said.
“On the other hand, a false report against the accused can lead to an even more grave miscarriage of justice, as an innocent person may get falsely implicated,” it added.The minor, who was eight years old on the date of the incident, was raped by her neighbour in October 2013.
As per the prosecution, when the girl was alone, the accused lured her to his room on pretext of giving her sweets.