Child rape: Lack of forensic infra leading to poor conviction rate

Indore: The governments might have tightened the laws related to sexual abuse of minors but due to lack of forensic infrastructure, the conviction rate in child rape cases in just 28 per cent. This means that of every four accused, only one is convicted.

According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data, 36,022 cases were registered under the POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) Act in 2016. Of them, only 10,114 ended in conviction.

The chief culprit is lack of adequate number of forensic laboratories. Besides, lack of expertise in collecting samples is also responsible. Due to lesser number of labs, testing of samples takes a long time and reports come in after years. This delays investigation and trial both.

DNA test facility in only one lab

For instance, Madhya Pradesh has just four forensic labs – at Sagar, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur. Of them, the facility of DNA test is available only in Sagar. Almost half (241) of the 486 posts in forensic labs in the state are lying vacant. There are only 17 personnel in the photo section as against the sanctioned strength of 67.

Nirbhaya Fund

Forensic

The Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Laboratory is proposed to be converted into a model lab and the Central Government has recently sanctioned Rs 100 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund for modernisation of the lab. State-of-the-art equipment are proposed to be bought.

The foundation stone for the modernisation project was laid by Union minister for woman and child development Maneka Gandhi at Chandigarh on June 1, 2018

(Story: Deepesh Sharma)

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