“Issue directives to forensic lab to produce reports promptly”

Faced with a case of rape in which the victim is a three-year-old child, a Rohini sessions court here - seeking to expedite trial on a priority basis but hindered by the Rohini-based Forensic Science Laboratory's (FSL) failure to deliver the report - has asked the Delhi Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home) to issue appropriate directives to the director of the laboratory.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau's order comes despite existing Delhi Government and higher court directions that rape cases involving children as victims have to be tried on a priority basis. Blaming incomplete charge-sheets filed without FSL reports as the main reason for delay in commencement of trial in rape cases, the judge said the delay in receiving FSL reports was a major constraint facing the justice delivery system.

“This delay in conducting the examination not only delays the trial but at times is fatal to the case of the prosecution on account of contamination and putrefaction of samples due to improper preservation, storage and handling as has happened in many cases.”

In her order, Dr. Lau also placed an important recommendation that in cases involving child victims and gang-rape, the FSL reports should be delivered within 14 days, keeping in view the sensitivity of the case.

“This being the background, the Chief Secretary, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and the Principal Secretary (Home) are directed to ensure that necessary directions are issued to FSL directors (under their control) in this regard so that when the charge-sheets are filed before the court by the investigating officer, they are complete in all respects and contain the FSL report.”

The National Commission of Women and Delhi Women's Commission have also been sent copies of the order for pursuing the issue at their end. With regard to the present case, the judge has asked for the FSL report to be delivered by July 27.

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