Maneka Gandhi lays the foundation of India’s first Advanced DNA Forensic Lab in Chandigarh

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on 01 June 2018laid the foundation stone of an advanced DNA forensic laboratory here as part efforts to reduce the backlog of cases needing advanced forensic analysis.

Built at a cost of Rs 99.76 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund, the state-of-the-art ‘Sakhi Suraksha’ lab, will come up at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory campus to assist in investigation and prosecution of crimes including those committed against women and children. On the completion of the project by the end of this year, the new laboratory will help to meet the demand for more admissible, accurate and powerful forensic proof in the cases of crime against women and children.

The Minister mentioned that the current capacity of CFSL, Chandigarh is less than 160 cases per year and the Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory is estimated to increase the capacity to 2,000 cases per year. The Minister further said that 5 more advanced forensic labs would come up in Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal in the next 3 months bringing the total minimum annual capacity of the labs to 50,000 cases.

The Labs in Chennai and Mumbai would be set up with WCD funds while remaining 3 labs would be set up with funds by Home Ministry. To meet international standards and deliver timely justice to women, advanced forensic DNA laboratories with latest high throughput DNA technology, are required, she added.

At present there are 6 Central Forensic Science Labs (CFSLs) in Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhopal and one State Forensic Science Lab in each State/UT. These labs are responsible for conducting forensic analysis of all cases in the country including sexual assault, criminal paternity and homicide.

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