Punjab and Haryana High Court Addresses Delays in Forensic Evidence Examination

The Punjab and Haryana High Court is establishing committees to investigate the delays in forensic evidence examination, aiming to streamline the process and ensure timely preparation of reports, particularly in criminal cases involving contraband.

Key Highlights:

  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court is alarmed by the delays in examining forensic evidence in criminal cases.
  • Three-member committees will be formed to investigate the functioning of Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh.
  • Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul highlighted a case under the NDPS Act where the Madhuban FSL took six months for chemical examination despite being labeled as a “priority case.”
  • The delay in FSL reports is a recurring problem in the region.
  • FSL reports play a pivotal role in criminal cases, especially those involving contraband, and delays impede investigations and prolong trials.
  • The Court deemed it necessary to form committees to identify administrative and technical causes of delays and recommend measures to streamline the process.
  • The Advocates General of Haryana and Punjab are directed to submit names of senior IAS and IPS officers for the committees.
  • The Court cancelled default bail of an accused in an NDPS case who allegedly operated a drug de-addiction center illegally.
  • The accused concealed facts and manipulated legal proceedings.
  • The Court found the accused’s involvement in illicit drug distribution reprehensible and a risk to society.
  • The accused was directed to surrender before the trial court on March 7.
  • Advocates Raktim Gogoi, Kunal Sharma, and S Vinod represented the accused, Vinit Yadav.
  • Deputy Advocate General Chetan Sharma represented the State of Haryana.