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If the result of a genuine DNA test is found to be scientifically accurate; the DNA test and its report shall prevail over the Biological/Serological test : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Sri Rajat Tati vs The State Of Tripura (CRL.A (J) NO.45 OF 2020) upheld that if the result of a genuine DNA test is found to be scientifically accurate; in that case, the DNA test and its report shall prevail over the Biological/Serological test.

Facts of the case:  The father of the deceased lodged an oral ejahar with the Officer-in- charge, Dharmanagar Women Police Station to the effect that on 25.03.2017 at about 05.00 pm., while he was near Matri Bhander at Office Tilla, he saw his daughter. She was going down the road. Thereafter at about 05.30 to 06.00 pm he returned to his home and asked his wife about the whereabouts of his daughter. His wife said that she went to Kalibari to light candles and incense sticks. But as up to 07.00 pm the victim did not return home they went out to search for their daughter. They also called on her mobile phone but after some time, her mobile phone was found switched off. Thereafter, at about 11.00 to 11.30 P.M. he came to know from one Raja Ghosh that a dead body of a girl was found at Padmapur. After hearing the news, the complainant and some other persons rushed to Padmapur and after reaching the spot found the dead body of his daughter. 

A charge sheet was submitted against the accused-appellant, herein, Rajat Tanti, for the commission of offenses punishable under Section 302/201 and 376(1) of IPC read with Section 4 of the POCSO Act, 2012.

Counsel for appellant submitted that the prosecution failed to prove the charge under Section 302 of IPC against the appellant. The prosecution has completely relied upon circumstantial evidence. Based on the above-mentioned judgments learned Sr. counsel argued that SFL reports are contradictory. One SFL report is saying there is the presence of spermatozoa and another SFL report is saying there is the absence of spermatozoa.

Judgment: The counsel for appellant had argued that medical evidence could not be relied upon since there were two contradicting reports. The issue before the court was which could be accepted as evidence in this particular case and relied upon to reach the truth. 

The court held that DNA evidence can help to bring home the guilt, acquit the innocent, or exonerate those wrongly convicted. Forensic DNA Technology has revolutionized the modes of investigation of violent crimes as a result of its awesome ability to convict a perpetrator or exonerate a convicted offender. In sexual assault and homicidal cases, DNA evidence has become a powerful crime-fighting tool. The DNA evidence in the form of saliva, blood, skin tissue, hair and semen is often recovered from crime scenes and is a crucial tool for the investigation of violent crimes. Testing methods currently used for analyzing the DNA evidence are considered to be very reliable. The DNA testing hits the nail on the head of the accused and is the last and clinching piece of evidence which shows that it is the accused and the accused alone who committed the rape of the victim

DNA test is a scientific test and its accuracy is 99.99 percent and as such, this must be used as evidence in sexual assault and violent crime cases. In the light of above discussions and analogy, the court did not find any merit in the submissions of appellant. If the result of a genuine DNA test is found to be scientifically accurate; in that case, the DNA test and its report shall prevail over the Biological/Serological test. Hence the conviction of the accused was upheld. 

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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