“Forensic Science Forms Integral Part Of Justice Delivery System”: Orissa HC

In the case of Ganeswar Behera v. State of Odisha and another, ( BLAPL No. 7569 of 2020), the Orissa High Court held that Forensic Science Forms Integral Part Of Justice Delivery System, and further asked the state to deploy adequate manpower at SFSL.

Brief Facts Of The Case: Observing that forensic science is an integral part of the justice delivery system, the Orissa High Court has asked the State Government to take immediate steps for ensuring deployment of adequate manpower or technical personnel at the State Forensic Science Laboratory in order to shorten the time period for conducting tests at the Lab.

Judgement: Justice SK Panigrahi ordered the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, Government of Odisha, to look into the pending issue of inadequate manpower of the SFSL Bhubaneswar and other regional centres with utmost urgency and to take stringent measures to ensure that these tests, as are requisitioned from time to time by various courts, are done within the time prescribed under the protocol so that the Courts, prosecutors, and litigants in general would not.

The Court noted that such delays “affront the criminal justice system” and increase its inefficiencies. The Director of SFSL told the court about manpower shortages. Due to such a shortage, the Laboratory wasn’t conducting tests within the protocol’s time restriction. The Court also relied on various committees and commissions, including the National Police Commission (1977–81), Ribeiro Committee (1998–99), Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000), and Soli Sorabjee (2005), which “unequivocally echoed the importance of Forensic science as a powerful weapon in the armoury of administration of justice”. The court noted that the State Government has not given the matter the attention it needs. The problem of developing regional forensic labs demands special attention to decongest the State Forensic Science Laboratory in Bhubaneswar, the court noted.



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