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Calcutta High Court Directs Centre To Fill Up CFSL Vacancies, Set Up Exclusive DNA Test Outlets

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
29 Dec 2020 11:35 AM GMT
Calcutta High Court Directs Centre To Fill Up CFSL Vacancies, Set Up Exclusive DNA Test Outlets
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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Central government to open more CFSL Centres in the State for expeditious forensic examination during criminal investigations. The Court also expressed the need for setting up of exclusive DNA outlets. A division bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee said, "Every endeavour should be made by the Union...

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Central government to open more CFSL Centres in the State for expeditious forensic examination during criminal investigations. The Court also expressed the need for setting up of exclusive DNA outlets.

A division bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee said,

"Every endeavour should be made by the Union to sanction more posts and, if possible, open branches at other parts of the State to ensure the expeditious examination of, inter alia, narcotic substances and material sent in course of criminal investigation. It may also be necessary to set up exclusive DNA test outlets, now that such tests are regularly used in criminal investigations."

These directions were given by the Court while hearing a writ petition filed by Rebaka Begum, who claimed that her missing husband, was in fact arrested. She claimed that she did not know where her husband was being detained.

The concerned Inspector-in-charge had subsequently, on December 22, filed a report in the Court stating that they had found skeletal remains of a man (suggesting that the same could be of the Petitioner's husband) and the same had been sent to CFSL for testing.

At this juncture, the Court was constrained to take note of debilitated state of the CFSL Centers. The Bench noted that in several matters reports sought from the local CFSL remain outstanding for months together.

In this backdrop, the Court observed,

"The facilities at the local CFSL have to be augmented. It has been repeated by this court over years that the facilities are inadequate, that the offices are short of staff and necessary equipment may not be available." Further, the Court stated, "It is hoped that learned Additional Solicitor-General takes immediate appropriate steps to augment the facilities and improve the output at the local CFSL."

The Additional Solicitor General, who was present in this hearing, submitted before the Court that steps had been taken by the Union government to fill all the sanctioned posts of the CFSL. It was further posited by the Additional Solicitor General that the Union government had also employed more people in the CFSL on a contractual basis for speedier testing.

The Bench remarked that these steps were not enough to improve the conditions of the CFSL and it opined that more testing centres need to be opened with more permanent sanctioned posts, to come up to speed with the impending need.

So far as the present case is concerned, the Court ordered the concerned CFSL Centre to execute the task of conducting the DNA and other tests as fast as possible and to present the results before the Court by the next hearing, which will take place a fortnight after the Court's vacation.

Case Title: Rebaka Begum v. State of West Bengal & Ors.

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