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Delhi HC slams delay to set up forensic laboratories

Posted on Feb 04 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 4 : The Delhi High Court Tuesday slammed the city government for its laxity and "lethargic attitude" in constituting forensic laboratories to deal with evidence in criminal cases.

A bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan said: "It's called failure of government. Order was passed on Oct 3. Four months have passed, and till now you are not able to take a small (piece of) land from DDA."

"Because of your laxity, unwillingness and lethargy, courts are not able to dispose of criminal cases. Then you say cases are pending in court. Who is responsible now, government or court," the bench asked, expressing disappointment over the time taken to establish forensic laboratories in the capital.

The court's observation came after Delhi government, through an affidavit, said it was not able to secure a plot adjacent to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Rohini, which was stipulated for storing crime exhibits and vehicles, as the land was meant for commercial use.

Appearing for Delhi government, advocate Zubeda Begum said the DDA has to look into the issue.

However, the bench pulled up the government, saying that it was a small issue which didn't require the court's intervention.

The court Oct 3 last year asked Lt Governor, who is the DDA chairman, to hold a meeting with the departments concerned to address the land issue as also the other shortcomings in setting up of FSLs.

The FSL at Rohini is the only state-run lab in the city and the Delhi government has decided to set up three more FSLs here to deal with the large number of pending cases.

In the south zone, DDA has allotted land in Sheikh Sarai for setting up a FSL, while for setting up of the two other labs DDA will explore the possibility of land in east Delhi and Dwarka.

According to the Delhi government, as of Aug 31, 2013, a total of 10,332 cases are pending.

The bench gave two weeks time to Delhi government to get allotment of land for FSL from DDA.

The court also directed the city government to publicise the Delhi victim compensation scheme for cases of rape, acid attack to create awareness of the scheme.

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