A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking orders to implement the 2003 suggestions of the “Malimath Committee” to strengthen forensic science in crime scene investigation and investigation in criminal cases using forensic experts and advanced techniques.
The petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Shrikant Prasad and Vishal Patel, a final year law student. In the petition, they have sought an order to the states and union territories that they should pay attention to the fact that at least one forensic expert is available in every district and forensic experts should be appointed in every district at the earliest.
Along with this, demand has also been made to order the states and union territories to make rules related to forensic science for providing evidence tracing and crime scene analysis and to make laws for it at the earliest. Along with this, demand has been made to order the DGP / CP to visit each crime scene with a forensic expert for such tracing.
They have requested the Supreme Court to order all the States and Union Territories to start mobile forensic laboratories according to the number of police stations in each district and in all the police stations of the states to secure the evidence. The basic forensic kit should also be made available to trace the evidence.
The petition has sought a direction to the state to improve the academics of forensic science by creating a forensic science course in every college having forensic specialization and at the same time, with the help of forensic experts, demand has been made to amend section 157 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) relating to forensic scientific investigation and furthermore, the petitioners have demanded that the forensic laboratories should not be interfered with by any department. He has emphasized the need for forensic laboratories to be independent. Whereas in the present situation the forensic science laboratories of India are under their home department or under the police department.
According to them, the state of forensic science in the Indian criminal justice system is not good and the police department does not even have the availability of forensic experts in police stations.
The petitioners also submitted that in most of the cases of criminal justice in India, the innocent are punished. Because of this, it needs to be improved further. Therefore, they recommended the ‘Malimath Committee‘ to further increase the importance of forensic science in investigations and criminal procedures.
The petitioners submitted that there are only six Central Forensic Science Laboratories present in India, but they are also running as per their wish without any efficient and proper mechanism. They said that the manpower in forensic laboratories in India is very less and none of them have special experience and expertise in the field of forensic science.
The Malimath Committee, (chaired by Justice VS Malimath, former Chief Justice of the Karnataka and Kerala High Courts) was set up by the government to suggest reforms in the criminal justice system and made 158 recommendations in 2003.