MP HC | Much to be done in the field of Forensic Sciences and its use in Administration of Justice and Legal Education; Court draws attention towards pendency of matters

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Anand Pathak, J., while hearing a matter related to Section 439 CrPC for grant of bail which was his fourth application, highlighted some major issues related to advancement of Forensic Sciences and its use in Administration of Justice and Legal Education.

Applicant had been arrested on 21-08-2019 for offence punishable under Sections 376(2) (i) of IPC and Sections 3/4, 5/6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. At the time of deciding first bail application of the applicant under Section 439 of CrPC, Court had raised expectation for establishment of State Forensic Sciences University and suggested the State Government to explore the possibility of realization of concept on ground. Since then, a committee under the aegis of Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department was also formed but more or less nothing had shaped up in concrete manner.

The Court took this opportunity to draw attention towards the pendency of cases (bail applications as well as criminal trials before the trial Court) because of long queue of DNA or Ballistic reports from the concerned authority. At the same time, Court recorded appreciation for valuable assistance given so far by the FSL Sagar and other FSL establishments across the State as well as Cyber Crimes Investigation Center, Bhopal however felt that there was still much to be done in the field of Forensic Sciences and its use in Administration of Justice and Legal Education.

In pursuance to earlier direction dated 15-06-2021, brief note had been filed by the Government counsel in which two noticeable things had been mentioned; One, State Government was improving DNA test facility by way of establishing Regional Labs at Bhopal and Indore and Second, Letter dated 03-05-2021 of Additional Director General, (Technical Services), Police Headquarters, Bhopal whereby he had explained the importance of issue to Secretary Home Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh about establishment of such University. The Court reiterated that approach of Authorities in M.P. regarding establishment of Forensic Sciences University was still myopic and reason appeared to be their approach to equate the Forensic Sciences subjects with DNA or FSL report only whereas Forensic Sciences subjects go much beyond.

Forensic Sciences does not mean only DNA report or Blood Sampling or FSL report as it goes much beyond and if we wish to march with time, then Society and State agencies have to be well equipped with technologies. When Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Drone Technologies are knocking at the doors, then policy makers or stakeholders cannot place “Rule of Law” or “Adjudication Process” at the mercy of archaic method of investigation and prosecution. Police investigation and prosecution in Courts cannot lie at the altar of statement of witnesses alone but it should be based upon scientific way of investigation and Police Officers, Public Prosecutors and Trial Judges ought to be well equipped with the subjects and tools of Forensic Sciences.

The Court was of the opinion that establishment of a University as per the order dated 22-01-2020 in M.Cr.C.No.45393 of 2019 would strengthen working of Police as well as Courts and because of the same reason this Court reiterated the same suggestion.

The Court considered the suggestion given by Additional Advocate General that if through video-conferencing, Officers of the Home Department are connected on the next date of hearing, then it would be better for Government side to get across the thought and concept in correct perspective.

The Court concluded that the discussion made hereinabove would allow the Policy Makers to ponder and come out with their suggestions and problems.[Bharat Jatav v. State of Madhya Pradesh, MCRC NO.17346 of 2021, decided on 02-09-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Advocates before the Court:

For the applicant: Mr Vivek Vyas

For the respondent: Mr Ankur Modi, Additional Advocate General and Mr Kuldeep Singh

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