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Proper preservation of forensic evidence needed: High Court

Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that proper preservation of forensic and scientific evidence by the police was needed to nail real culprits in criminal cases as it would enable investigators to present water-tight case before a court.

A Bench of justices B D Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar observed that as per police, there were departments to look into each and every aspect of the crime, but this was only on paper and nothing functions on ground. It asked Delhi Police whether they had any procedure to store biology/chemistry samples at police stations (malkhanas) till they are deposited at forensic laboratories after being collected from the crime scene.

“Do you follow all this? If so, you will have a water- tight case on the basis of which you can nail the main culprits, rather than catching innocent people,” the Bench observed. 

The Bench also asked the counsel for Delhi Police whether they had any data regarding culprits caught on the basis of such forensic and scientific evidence. The court’s oral observation came on being told by Delhi Police counsel Rajesh Mahajan that “biological samples, whether they are in dry or wet form, are properly placed in a sealed and air-tight container kept in a refrigerator at the specified temperature of four degree Celsius at the malkhana in police stations”. 

The Bench asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to visit these malkhanas and find out whether such samples were kept properly as claimed by police. The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it after the December 16, 2012 gang-rape case, in which it has been giving directions from time to time with regard to improving crime investigation and protection of women in Delhi. 

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