Mumbai: Maharashtra government today decided to set up forensic laboratories in every district and at nine police commissionerates. Accordingly, a total of 45 laboratories will be set up, in addition to the existing laboratories at Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nanded and Kolhapur.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the home department chaired by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. "At present there are nine labs which are insufficient considering the number of cases," Minister of State for Home (rural) Ram Shinde said. As of December 2014, there were 17,361 pending criminal cases in the state of which 1,242 were related to cyber crime.
Others were related to DNA testing, narcotics, weapon forensics, among others. The home department has sanctioned Rs 14.55 crore to start the work of setting up the new labs and Rs nine crore for the staff, Shinde said. There are 718 people working in the existing forensic labs, against the requirement of 1,031. In a high-profile case like Javkheda Dalit murder case, the home department had to send the samples to Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, the Minister said.
This has affected the conviction rate too as the cases remain unsolved, he added.