As we know forensic science plays a tremendous role in criminal justice system as it provides scientifically based analysis of physical evidence. A forensic scientist collects, preserves and analyzes scientific evidence during the course of a police investigation. Almost each State is having a Forensic Science Laboratory manned by professional and competent scientists, some of whom go to the scene of crime to collect evidence themselves to analyze while others perform their job in laboratories to analyze and opine which helps the investigating agencies in the courts during trial of the accused.
Since forensic science itself has undergone lot many changes by adopting newer techniques and methods, it is incumbent upon the State Administration to keep such laboratories updated in terms of new techniques, equipping with new devices and machines as also improved methods of analyzing pieces of evidence in relation to a crime. However, a proposal to infuse a new lease of life in the J&K Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is gathering dust somewhere in the Home Department for quite a long time. The callousness and insensitivity of the administration has been such that the likelihood of the laboratory becoming completely defunct cannot be ruled out. The question is but why?
We have instances of States where such laboratories are on modern scientific wholly computerized manner involving multiple disciplines and engineering in evidence analysis thus making the role of forensic science in criminal justice and legal system highly critical. Keeping in view these developments and with reference to improvement in running of such labs by other States and for filling up available vacancies, fate is not known of the comprehensive proposal sent to Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department by the Joint Director, Forensic Science Laboratory. With whatever available mechanism, even if outdated in many cases, the laboratory has been plagued by the personnel problems for quite some time involving court cases, pursuing and withdrawing them which has been telling upon its performance. The comprehensive proposal, it is understood desires to address those anomalies too which have been troubling the employees.
We have learnt that if the proposal was accorded approval, it would infuse a new life in the organization and in the absence of it, the dormancy would engulf it leading to it getting defunct which cannot be afforded by the State at any cost. There are no fresh recruitments being undertaken because of disputes while most of the scientific officers are attaining superannuation in the next couple of years, the organization would end up in complete chaos and confusion impairing its functions.
Looking to the other face of the problem, no new equipment has been provided to the Forensic Science Laboratory in contrast to similar laboratories across the country getting adequate and due attention in respect of upgrading their requirements on a continuous basis. The sad state of affairs is such that there is only one officer in almost all the divisions of the FSL and the situation is worst in Jammu Laboratory.
Looking to the dismal and dreary situation in the FSL in the State which otherwise has a tremendous role in criminal investigation and when without the application of forensic science, criminals can never be convicted, it is but natural for the State to ensure a complete turnaround of the FSL otherwise with the same approach the FSL getting inoperative would mean a field day for murderers, thieves, drug peddlers and rapists in the State.