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J&K Forensic Science Laboratory to face closure in 2020

Posts of biology, explosive, finger print experts lying vacant in Jammu

Organization becomes dumping ground for blue-eyed cops
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Dec 7: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that Jammu and Kashmir Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) will face closure in next two years because of absolute non-seriousness on the part of all the concerned authorities particularly the Home Department and Director General of Police, who otherwise are supposed to play key role not only in its modernization but also making available sufficient and competent manpower.
Moreover, the FSL, which is the sole provider of forensic and advisory services to the law enforcement agencies on varied subjects, has been rendered as dumping yard for those cops who don’t have any technical expertise but are enjoying good relations with the senior police officers.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that though forensic science throughout the world has undergone sea change and gained tremendous importance in justice delivery system yet in Jammu and Kashmir it is being completely ignored due to the callous attitude of the concerned authorities.
This can be gauged from the fact that 18 posts of Assistant Scientific Officers, six posts of Deputy Directors and one post of Joint Director have been lying vacant during the past quite long time. Moreover, half of the available staff has been drawn from various police wings and more so from armed wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and they don’t have any expertise to handle any sort of technical task in the Forensic Science Laboratory.
“Moreover, the posts of biology, finger print and explosive experts are lying vacant in Jammu unit of FSL during the past quite long time despite the fact that urgency to fill these posts are projected before all the concerned authorities including Home Secretary and Director General of Police”, sources said while disclosing that the post of explosive expert had fallen vacant in 2012 while as that of finger print expert in 2014. Similarly, biology expert attained superannuation in January this year.
“In the absence of these experts, the Jammu unit of FSL is compelled to send the material to the Srinagar unit for analysis and opinion, which leads to delay in completion of investigation and justice delivery system”, sources said, adding “non availability of these experts is mainly impacting the investigation in rape and murder cases”.
Stating that J&K FSL will face closure in 2020, sources said, “on one side no fresh appointment has been made since 1983 and on the other side posts are falling vacant with every passing year”, adding “95% of the available manpower would attain superannuation in 2020 and the Government would have no other option but to close the laboratory”. They informed that the lone ballistic expert in the FSL will attain the age of superannuation in 2019 and thereafter there will be nobody to look after this field in entire Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is absolutely no focus on filling the posts lying vacant every year but on the other side non-technical police officials are being deployed in the FSL just to give an impression that there is no dearth of manpower”, they said, adding “majority of the cops deployed in the laboratory both in Jammu and Srinagar don’t have any technical expertise to work in the FSL”.
Stating that FSL has been rendered as dumping yard for those cops who have good relations with the senior police officers, sources informed that former Director General of Police had deputed all his PSOs in the FSL days before attaining the age of superannuation so as to ensure their comfortable posting.
They informed that since 2006 the post of Director FSL is being assigned to either IPS or KAS officers despite the fact that Director should be highly technical person as per the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal law in the country.
In the recent order, the General Manager of a Corporation was posted as Joint Director of head-less FSL on deputation basis despite the fact that he happens to be a civil engineer by profession with zero knowledge of forensic science.”Joint Director’s job entails checking investigation reports, cross checking the facts, corroborating evidences, monitoring DNA tests, finger print tests and also issuing reports as such how can a non-technical person deal with these things remains a million dollar question”, sources said.

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