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With more manpower, DFSL aims to deliver reports sooner

The additional workforce has helped DFSL reduce its pending cases from 48,800 cases in December-end to 41,194 now.

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With more manpower, DFSL aims to deliver reports sooner
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To expedite investigations of crimes like rape, financial frauds and murder, the police will now get forensic reports in a 45-day period. The short-staffed Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories (DFSL) is struggling with a large backlog of cases.

"We have recruited around 513 scientific officers and staff on contract in January and are hiring 108 officers and assistants for the cyber forensics division. This will help us tackle the backlog in around five months. After this, we hope to generate forensic reports in around 45 days," the official said. The DFSL is also hiring for 356 permanent posts.

The additional workforce has helped DFSL reduce its pending cases from 48,800 cases in December-end to 41,194 now.

"There has been a rise in cyber, financial and intellectual property-related crimes being sent for analysis. Some cases with the cyber forensics division are pending for almost a year as one officer can handle a maximum of five to seven cases a month due to the nature of work involved in data recovery," said the official.

The state government has approved five mini labs with divisions for toxicology and biology at Thane, Solapur, Dhule, Chandrapur and Ratnagiri, the official said. These will ensure that police units can get samples tested before their quality is compromised and reduce the backlog. Eventually, the state government plans to run the FSLs 24x7 on the lines of emergency services to eliminate pending cases and generate faster forensic evidence for law enforcement agencies.

Maharashtra has a state-level forensic science laboratory in Mumbai and seven across the state in Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Amravati, Nanded, Kolhapur and Aurangabad. It has DNA testing facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Aurangabad. The state government has deployed 45 mobile forensic support units in each of the nine police commissionerates and 36 district police headquarters.

PENDING CASES

16,000 in biology and serology
12,000 in toxicology
2,000 each in cyber forensics and DNA

TIMELINE OF REPORTS

Important cases: Around a month
DNA reports: Over three months
Cases under IPC: 3 months
Cases under Code of Criminal Procedure: 6 months
Cybercrime cases: 7-8 months
Cases related to biology and toxicology: 6 to 9 months

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