Poor facilities plague forensic lab

Officials complain about lack of space, outdated instruments and rat menace

June 03, 2017 01:02 am | Updated 01:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Chanakyapuri is reeling under a shortage of infrastructure. Among the issues that need attention are lack of space, outdated instruments, and rat menace.

The laboratory was established in early 2015 on the orders of the Delhi High Court. At the time, it was decided that the institute would operate from Yashwant Place in Chanakyapuri till another lab was set up in Sheikh Sarai.

Unfulfilled promise

“We were told to operate out of this rented floor in Yashwant Place while the lab in Sheikh Sarai was built. But that never became a reality,” said a senior FSL official.

Now, the lab needs an immediate upgrade. The official said there is not enough keep space to keep chemicals or conduct tests.

“We store the chemicals in a toilet. The samples are also building up as we receive over 200 cases a month from the south and New Delhi districts,” he said. An increase in the number of labs, he claimed, would help in quick solving of cases.

“Reports get delayed, due to which many criminals go scot-free,” the official said.

The instruments are also outdated, he claimed. “We need machines like inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, which is capable of detecting metals, and electron microscope for better results. Recently, we asked for a snake poison testing machine,” said the official.

He further said that rats from a restaurant located on the first floor of the building wreak havoc in the lab. A report submitted by the FSL to the Delhi government states that the rodents cut wires of instruments and destroy other things. The menace, however, has been temporarily curtailed using rat poison.

Government blamed

Meanwhile, the official blamed the government for the problems. He said that although land had been by the Delhi Development Authority in Sheikh Sarai, Rohini and Sayurpur for setting up FSLs, the projects were yet to see the light of the day.

“Earlier, all decisions would be taken by the Lieutenant-Governor. But the process became slower after the government’s constant intervention,” said the official.

He further said, “Why should only the court think about developing this department? The government should also play a positive role.” He added that the government should develop FSLs just like it establishes more districts and police stations.

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