CHANDIGARH: By end of July this year Special forensic kits for rape cases will be given to all police stations and hospitals across the country by Ministry of Women and Child Development. Also the government is mulling to prepare a database of sex offenders for the first time in order to check a spurt in crime against women and children.
After laying the foundation of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Laboratory is being set up in the campus of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) here, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development said that these forensic rape kits are currently with CFSL here for validation. These inviolable kits will be used for providing uncontaminated evidence. These kits would contain a complete list of evidence and samples to be collected along with the equipment required to collect the evidence. The kits would be locked and sealed before being sent to forensic labs. The details of name of the person, date and time of sealing the kit would be recorded in the kit. "These kits will be given to all police stations and hospitals by July end,’" she added.
Gandhi said," In all the 23 forensic laboratories across the country 20,000 new cases of sexual assault are received annually for analysis but the annual capacity of these laboratories is 16,682 cases including the backlog, 13,108 cases are pending of which 7,332 cases are pending in Northern Region.’’
"The current capacity of CFSL in Chandigarh is 153 cases per year with pendency of 83 cases. Furthermore, it is important that the biological crime exhibit is stored and preserved in scientific
manner so as to make any examination meaningful. However, presently such a storage capacity is around 200 cases in CFSL here. Therefore, the Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory is being setup in the campus of CFSL here to meet the current gap. The key components are - physical renovation of space, hiring of human resources, upgradation of major and minor equipment, consumables and other miscellaneous expenses. Once operation is three months time it will able to handle around 2000 cases annually, ’’ she said.
"In sexual assault cases, the ideal time frame to complete the examination and submission of report is ninety days. But with the present infrastructure, in the absence of advanced automated technology
and lack of skilled human resources, it has not been feasible to complete examination and reporting within the time frame.
She further said that also besides this laboratory two such laboratories are being set-up in Chennai and Mumbai which will examine more than 5,000 cases annually to give forensics a leading edge. Also
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is setting up forensic laboratories at Pune, Guwahati and Bhopal. All these labs will come up in next three months bringing the total minimum annual capacity of the labs to 50, 000 cases.
"The government will soon come out with a national register for sex offenders as ministry of home affairs is working on it,’’ she said and added thus details of such offenders will be available across
the country so that they can be tracked.
She said that now if any women fears that her NRI husband will dump her and leave for abroad without her, she can log into a site and send a complaint to a three-member committee set-up by the
government in which joint secretaries of MHA, MEA and her ministry are members, they will immediately take a call and the person can will be stopped from leaving the country as his passport can be revoked or visa can be cancelled.
Also, the MEA is planning that to put summons used by such husbands by respective courts on it’s website and thus they will be deemed served and MHA is mulling to change the law and thus property of the
family of such husband can be attached by the government.