Taking note of the high percentage of acquittals in criminal cases, including crimes against women, children and senior citizens, Delhi High Court today said it either reveals “shoddy or botched-up investigation” or that the wrong person was accused of committing the offence.
Referring to the “revealing statistics”, a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said in either case “fault lies at the feet of criminal investigation” and that is why the court has been stressing on the need for bifurcation of criminal investigation from law and order as well as employing scientific methods for probe.
The bench said this is why it has been directing the Central government to increase manpower in police and the Delhi government to set up more forensic labs.
“Unfortunately, the governments of the day do not realise the importance and significance of these directions,” the bench said and added that “each government was trying to put a blockade before the other and it is the citizens who go for a six”.
“They (government) are not concerned that life and liberty are at risk. Why should we be concerned? We are completely disappointed,” it said and warned “but we are not powerless.
We do not want to, but we can do things”.
The bench, however, “once again requested” the Centre and the Delhi government “in the interest of citizens of the city and on their behalf” that they may consider directions given by the court from time to time to improve investigation and law and order in the city.
“Each government has its separate and distinct responsibilities which they must honor,” the court said and listed the matter on May 18 to enable them to come with concrete proposals.
The court also directed the Delhi government to file a status report with regard to the backlog of samples which are yet to be tested at the forensic labs here.
The report will also have to indicate the turn around time for testing samples, where the samples are stored, number of samples tested during the last three years at each lab and the capacity of each lab individually and together.
Delhi police was also asked to file a status report indicating the number of cases set up for trial in the last five years and also those among them where samples had to be tested in laboratories.
( Source – PTI )