SC slams Govt on tardy probe methods

The Supreme Court today came down heavily on investigating agencies for pursuing "old fashioned, crude" methods in criminal cases.

Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 23:58 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today came
down heavily on investigating agencies for pursuing "old
fashioned, crude" methods in criminal cases leading to several
criminals going scot free.

The court directed the Central Forensic Science
Laboratory (CFSL) to submit a report on availability of
scientific tools to detect crimes.

"Investigation of crimes in this country continues to
be old fashioned, crude and at times, ineffective. The
criminals on the other hand are making use of these
deficiencies and go scot free.

"Western countries invariably make use of science and
technology to investigate crimes, like DNA test, finger print
test blood test, fibre test and computers," a Bench of
Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur observed in an order,
while seeking the report.

The apex court passed the order while dealing with the
appeal filed by Gajanan Dashrath Kharate challenging the life
sentence imposed on him for murdering his father in
Maharashtra.

Though Kharate is said to have killed his father by
smashing his head with a stone, the local police merely
collected his finger prints, but not the matching prints from
the stone.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment on the basis of
circumstantial evidence and the High Court confirmed the
sentence following which he appealed in the apex court.

In the apex court the convict took the plea that there
was no direct evidence and he cannot be convicted on mere
circumstantial evidence.

The Bench after perusal of the evidence noted that the
investigating agency in the present case failed to observe
even elementary skills of collecting the finger prints of the
accused from the stone.

"This is yet another case in which the prosecution
has, for whatever reasons, failed to adduce evidence that
could have thrown considerable light on the circumstances in
which the alleged murder was committed.

"However, the investigating agency did not take any
steps to have the finger print of the accused who is none
other than the son of the deceased taken from the said weapon
of offence," the Bench observed.

The apex court said that there are a number of cases
in which the investigating agencies have failed to collect
finger prints, send firearms and their remnants to the
ballistic experts, or avail latest DNA technology in detecting
crimes.

"It is in in the above back drop that we consider it
proper to direct the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, New
Delhi to submit a preliminary report about the availability of
the facilities for providing scientific support to the
investigating agencies in the matter of detection of crime.

"The Director Central Forensic Science Laboratory will
do the needful and enumerate resources that his laboratory and
other forensic laboratories in India have in terms of
equipment or scientifically trained man power," the apex court
in its order. It asked the Solicitor General to assist the
court in the matter.

-PTI