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“Forensic Science Forms Integral Part Of Justice Delivery System”: Orissa High Court Asks State To Deploy Adequate Manpower At SFSL

Observing that forensic science is an integral part of the justice delivery system, the Orissa High Court has asked the State Government to take immediate steps for ensuring deployment of adequate manpower or technical personnel at the State Forensic Science Laboratory to shorten the time period for conducting tests at the Lab. Justice SK Panigrahi ordered thus: “This Court requests the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, Government of Odisha to look into the pending issue of inadequate manpower of the S.F.S.L., Bhubaneswar and other regional centres with utmost urgency and to take stringent measures to ensure that these tests as are requisitioned from time to time by various courts are done within the time prescribed under the protocol so that the Courts, the prosecutors, and litigants in general would not have to wait for the scientific reports for months together.” The Court also observed that such delay is an “affront to the criminal justice system” and adds to the inefficiency of the system. The development came after the Court was apprised by Director of SFSL about the problems being faced with respect to shortage of manpower. It was submitted that due to such a shortage, the Laboratory was failing to conduct tests as per the time limit prescribed under the testing protocol.

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