Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena has emphasised the need for educating the common man on the importance of preserving the scene of crime. There is a crying need for generating public awareness about this to facilitate a reduction in the response time of our investigating agencies, he said.

“As there have been any number of instances of curious onlookers disturbing the crime scene, joint campaigns by the investigating agencies and the police are needed to sensitise the public,” he said.

Delivering the valedictory address at the XX Forensic Science Congress here on Tuesday, Mr. Meena, a retired Indian Police Service officer himself, said a robust partnership between forensic scientists and the police was needed for any effective crime investigation. The Criminal Justice Reforms Committee headed by Justice Malimath too had strongly recommended a sharper focus on the scene of crime management, he pointed out.

“If the crime scene is not properly strengthened in terms of quality control and quality assurance, investigations may not yield proper physical evidence of forensic importance,” Mr. Meena noted.

Nearly 300 delegates from India and abroad took part in the conference which had “Crime scene to courtroom” as its theme. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram inaugurated the conference this past Sunday. The valedictory session was also addressed by Rajasthan Health Minister Imaduddin Ahmed and Rajasthan Director-General of Police (Home Guards) S. K. Bains.

The conference deliberated on issues such as forensic psychology, DNA fingerprinting, cyber crime, firearms data base and plans for modernisation of forensic laboratories in India in the presence of Bibha Rani Ray, Chief Forensic Scientist, Directorate of Forensic Science, New Delhi, and other experts.

“In the modern world, criminals are becoming more and more intelligent and well-informed about various scientific tools and technologies. Against this backdrop the scientific community must utilise their resources in such a way that forensic science will prove an effective guide to scientific investigation,” said Mr. Meena.

Forensic science, too, was advancing at a fast phase rendering it necessary for the country’s scientists and investigators to catch up with the trends elsewhere, he observed.

Mr. Meena said it was imperative that to ensure speedy justice there was prompt and timely examination of samples. The agencies concerned should evolve a method of bar-coding of collected samples. To improve their credibility, all the forensic laboratories in the country should get certification from independent agencies, he suggested.