Under new law, forensic probes likely to jump from 1k to around 90k a year: Delhi official

With the extra need for forensic experts now, the Forensic Science Laboratory might have to deal with a whopping 8,000% more cases every year.
For representational purposes only
For representational purposes onlyFile photo

NEW DELHI: The astute examination of any crime scene and preserving the evidence backed with apt technology will remain one of the key focuses of the new criminal laws where forensics are set to play a vital role.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sahita (BNS) 2023, which replaced the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, was passed in Parliament and the President gave its assent on December 25, 2023.

The new criminal law BNS which has now been implemented from July 1 and the other two -- Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) which replaced the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) which replaced the Indian Evidence Act, promise to completely overhaul the country’s criminal justice system.

As per the new laws, the provision of forensic experts is mandatory for the collection of forensic evidence from the scene of crime. Experts opine that it has been done to strengthen the case and investigations.

With the extra need for forensic experts now, the Forensic Science Laboratory might have to deal with a whopping 8,000% more cases every year.

“Usually every year, we examine around 1,100-1,200 cases but now we have been told that this number might go up to 80-90,000 cases,” SK Gupta, Head of CrimeScene Management (CSM) at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Rohini, told this reporter.

In Delhi, the FSL actively supports the investigation conducted by Delhi Police starting right from the scene of the crime investigation. Forensic experts are deputed by Director FSL to visit Scene of Crime and coordinate with the investigating authority of Delhi region on receiving requests for the inspection for the scene of crime in some of the disputed and complicated situations.

The department has played a major role in some of the high-profile cases like the Isreal Embassy blast case, the Burari mass suicide, Shraddha Walkar murder case, Kanjhawala case (Anjali hit & run case) and many more.

To cater to the new demand of forensic examination as per the new law, the department has been burning the midnight oil for the past one month and multiple forensic teams have been set up which will remain ready round the clock to assist the police and examine the crime scene.

“We had started the pilot project a month back and have been preparing and training our staff in context with new criminal laws,” FSL Director Deepa Verma said while speaking to this newspaper.

The top official informed that they have been conducting lectures and holding awareness programmes. “We are completely ready to handle the cases and assist the investigative agency,” the officer said.

Notably, for the police personnel i.e. the Investigative Officers, the process of evidence collection at the crime scene has to be mandatorily videographed to prevent tampering of evidence. The same rule now even applies to the forensic experts who will have to photograph and videograph the crime scene but unlike the police, who upload the pictures and videos on the app, they will keep those videos in their own repository.

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