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New Delhi: Observing that a large number of trials were “held up” due to delay in receiving reports from forensic science laboratories, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Center whether there was any proposal to increase the number of such laboratories.

A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said this after the Centre informed the court that there were problems of non-availability of human resources and technology in forensic science laboratories (FSLs) across the country.

“How many FSLs are there in the country?,” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi, appearing for the Centre.

Lekhi said there were 23 FSLs in the country out of which six were central forensic science laboratory (CFSLs) and reference made to these laboratories were in large number.

“Is there any proposal to increase the number of FSLs?,” the bench asked.

The ASG said that he would take instructions on this and would get back to the court.

The issue of FSLs had cropped up when the apex court was hearing a matter related to deficiencies in jails as highlighted by two apex court judges, one of whom has retired, during their visit to Faridabad jail and an observation home in June this year. 

One of the deficiencies noted earlier by the court was that “a number of trials are prolong


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