New Delhi: Irked over the city government`s "half-hearted effort" towards setting up additional forensic laboratories to deal with evidence in criminal cases, the Delhi High Court said the authorities do not act unless there is an agitation on the streets.
The government drew the ire of a bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, for its "failure" to act four months after the court`s order to address the issue of setting up more such labs.
"This is a half-hearted approach. Unless and until there is a major agitation on the streets, no body acts," the bench said and gave two more weeks to Delhi government to address the issue of setting up of the labs.
It also asked the government to publicise the compensation scheme meant for rape and acid attack victims for creating awareness amongst the public.
On October 3, 2013, the high court had asked the Lt Governor, who is the Chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), to meet with the departments concerned to address the issue of allotting land to set up three more Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in east, west and south zones of the capital.
Today, however, the city government sought more time, drawing a sharp response from the court which said "because of your laxity, unwillingness and lethargy, courts are not able to dispose of criminal cases. Then you say cases are pending in courts".
Delhi government had last year decided to set up three more FSLs as a lot of cases were pending in the sole state-run forensic lab in Rohini.
As per the government, for a lab in the south zone, DDA has allotted land in Sheikh Sarai, while for setting up of the two other labs the authority will explore the possibility of land in east Delhi and Dwarka.
The court, which had taken suo motu cognisance in the December 16 Delhi gangrape incident, has now expanded the ambit of the case by giving several directions to the Centre, Delhi government, the city police and hospitals to ensure safety of women in particular in the national capital.