India 262 pending rape cases caught in DNA tangle in A.P #Vaw #Justice


By , TNN | Jan 11, 2013, 06.44 AM IST

HYDERABAD: The distraught family of Nirbhaya can hope for early justice with the Delhi High Court fast-tracking investigation in the December 16 incident, but the 23-year-old rape victim’s case is clearly a rarity.

Back home in Andhra Pradesh, the kin of at least 262 such women are awaiting justice since 2011 with all these cases caught up at the DNA testing stage. Interestingly, AP is home to a good half a dozen forensic laboratories, with Hyderabad being one of the three cities in India to house a Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

Despite the numbers, the disposal rate of rape cases in AP is abysmally low.

One of the primary reasons for this ‘poor show’ is the jurisdictional restriction on DNA labs, rue experts. Much like in the case of police stations, these centres too are bound by ‘borders.’ For instance, as per the existing law, all rape cases filed with the police anywhere in the state are customarily forwarded to the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) in the city. The centre would be clearing files it had received in the year 2010 this year.

While the government-run CFSL is just a few kilometers away, the centre has a mandate to handle only cases pertaining to another state or Union territory. Rapes reported from within AP are incidentally out of its jurisdiction. “This indeed is a hindrance. There should be a unified system of handling rape case samples wherein any lab can run DNA tests to speed up investigation. In case of high pendency at APFSL, the CFSL should be brought in to share the burden,” said Dr G V Rao, a DNA analyst.

He also suggested the strengthening of the regional forensic laboratories that are currently ill-equipped and poorly-staffed. Among other districts, AP has one lab each in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. “It is for the government to take appropriate measures to revamp these centres to speed up the process of DNA tests,” reiterated Venugopal Venkatamuni, deputy director of CFSL.

The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), set up well over a decade ago to ease the burden on APFSL, too has failed to live up to expectations, say experts. While the centre does step in to assist the police with DNA tests, it is only an occasional affair. “The CDFD is unfortunately not doing what it is supposed to do. It lays more emphasis on research as against on routine cases these days,” said eminent scientist P M Bhargava, who is also the founder director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

While CCMB, at one point, figured on the list of centres used by the police for DNA testing, its services are no longer sought. “It was an expensive affair. So, the tests were restricted to APFSL,” said a senior police official.

The possibility of roping in private laboratories like the city-based Truth Labs, especially in sensitive cases such as rape, too was highlighted by experts. “But increasing the network of labs in not the only solution,” confessed Dr Gandhi P C Kaza, founder chairman of the centre stressing on the need for increased accountability. “If there is a will among investigators, at least 90% of all rape cases can be resolved within a set time-frame,” he said.

 

Gujarat cops used AK-47 on Dalits, says top officer


AK-47 with milled receiver and wood furniture.

AK-47 with milled receiver and wood furniture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 Nov 28, 2012 Parimal Dabhi 

 

The Gujarat Police used an AK-47 assault rifle among other weapons during a protest by some Dalits in Thangadh town of Surendranagar district on September 22-23, according to a police affidavit submitted to a court. Three Dalits, including two 17-year-olds, were killed in the incident.

 

 

The affidavit, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, says that the weapons used included “revolver, (.303) rifle, carbine gun and AK-47”. Superintendent of Police R S Bhagora submitted the affidavit while opposing the anticipatory bail petition of one of the four accused police officers in the case, Kuldipsinh Jadeja. All the accused are absconding.

 

 

The affidavit, dated November 6, says the motive behind the police firing was “hatred” and “prejudice” against Dalits. It adds that the weapons have been recovered and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for evidence.

 

 

Confirming this, IGP, CID (crime), Anil Pratham, who is supervising the probe, told The Indian Express: “We have sent the recovered weapons to FSL to ascertain if they were fired from or not and if so, how many shots were fired… We cannot say right now if the AK-47s were fired from or not till the FSL reports come in.” While he declined to say how many AK-47s had been sent, he admitted that there was more than one.

 

 

DGP Chitranjan Singh confirmed the use of at least one AK-47 in the incident. “The commando of SP Harikrishna Patel fired from his AK-47, probably some eight or nine rounds,” he told The Indian Express.

 

 

 

Rethinking DNA Profiling in India


Vol – XLVII No. 43, October 27, 2012 | Elonnai Hickok , Economic Political Weekly

DNA profile databases can be useful tools in solving crime, but given that the DNA profile of a person can reveal very personal information about the individual, including medical history, family history and so on, a more comprehensive legislation regulating the collection, use, analysis and storage of DNA samples needs included in the draft Human DNA Profiling Bill.

Elonnai Hickok (elonnai@cis-india.org) is a Policy Associate with the Centre for Internet and Society.

DNA evidence was first accepted by the courts in India in 1985 1, and in 2005 the Criminal Code of Procedure was amended to allow for medical practitioners, after authorisation from a police officer who is not below the rank of sub-inspector, to examine a person arrested on the charge of committing an offence and with reasonable grounds that an examination of the individual will bring to light evidence regarding the offence. This can include

the examination of blood, blood stains, semen, swabs in case of sexual offences, sputum and sweat, hair samples, and finger nail clippings, by the use of modern and scientific techniques including DNA profiling and such other tests which the registered medical practitioner thinks necessary in a particular case”.2

Though this provision establishes that authorisation is needed for collection of DNA samples, defines who can collect samples, creates permitted circumstances for collection, and lists material that can be collected, among other things, it does not address how the collected DNA evidence should be handled, and what will happen to the evidence after it is collected and analysed. These gaps in the provision indicate the need for a more comprehensive legislation regulating the collection, use, analysis and storage of DNA samples, including for crime-related purposes in India.

The initiative to draft a Bill regulating the use of DNA samples for crime-related reasons began in 2003, when the Department of Biotechnology (DoB) established a committee known as the DNA Profiling Advisory Committee to make recommendations for the drafting of the DNA profiling Bill 2006, which eventually became the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2007.3. The 2007 draft Bill was prepared by the DoB along with the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD).4 The CDFD is an autonomous institution supported by the DoB. In addition to the CDFD, there are multiple Central Forensic Science Laboratories in India under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Central Bureau of Investigation5, along with a number of private labs6 which analyse DNA samples for crime-related purposes.

In 2007, the draft Human DNA Profiling Bill was made public, but was never introduced in Parliament. In February 2012, a new version of the Bill was leaked. If passed, the Bill will establish state-level DNA databases which will feed into a national-level DNA database, and proposes to regulate the use of DNA for the purposes of

“enhancing protection of people in the society and the administration of justice”.7

The Bill will also establish a DNA Profiling Board responsible for 24 functions, including specifying the list of instances for human DNA profiling and the sources of collection, enumerating guidelines for storage and destruction of biological samples, and laying down standards and procedures for establishment and functioning of DNA laboratories and DNA Data Banks.8 The lack of harmonisation and clear policy indicates that there is a need in India for standardising the collection and use of DNA samples. Although DNA evidence can be useful for solving crimes, the current 2012 draft Bill is missing critical safeguards and technical standards essential to preventing the misuse of DNA and protecting individual rights.

Concerns that have been raised with regards to the Bill are both intrinsic, including problems with effectiveness of achieving the set objectives, and extrinsic, including concerns with the fundamental principles of the Bill. For example, the use of DNA material as evidence and the subsequent creation of a DNA database can be useful for solving crimes when the database contains DNA profiles 9 from DNA samples10 only from crime scenes, and is restricted to DNA profiles from individuals who might be repeat offenders. If a wide range of DNA profiles are added to the database, the effectiveness of the database decreases, and the likelihood of a false match increases as the ability to correctly identify a criminal depends on the number of crime scene DNA profiles on the database, and the number of false matches that occur is proportional to the number of comparisons made (more comparisons = more false matches).11 This inverse relationship between the effectiveness of the DNA database and the size of the database was found in the UK when it was proven that the expansion of the UK DNA database did not help to solve more crimes, despite millions of profiles being added to the database.12

The current scope of the draft 2012 Bill is not limited to crimes for which samples can be taken and placed in the database. Instead the Bill creates indexes within every databank including: crime scene indexes, suspects index, offender’s index, missing persons index, unknown deceased persons’ index, volunteers’ index, and such other DNA indices as may be specified by regulations made by the Board.13 How independent each of these indices are, is unclear. For example, the Bill does not specify when a profile is searched for in the database – if all indices are searched, or if only the relevant indices are searched, and the Bill requires that when a DNA profile is added to the databank, it must be compared with all the existing profiles.14 The Bill also lists a range of offences for which DNA profiling will be applicable and DNA samples collected, and used for the identification of the perpetrator including, unnatural offences, individual identification, issues relating to assisted reproductive technologies, adultery, outraging the modesty of women etc.15 Though the Bill is not incorrect in its list of offences where DNA profiling could be applicable, it is unclear if DNA profiles from all the listed offenses will be stored on the database. If it is the case that the DNA profiles will be stored, it would make the scope of the database too broad.

Unlike other types of identifiers, such as fingerprints, DNA can reveal very personal information about an individual, including medical history, family history and location.16 Thus, having a DNA database with a broad scope and adding more DNA profiles onto a database, increases the potential for misuse of information stored on the database, because there is more opportunity for profiling, tracking of individuals, and access to private data. In its current form, the Bill protects against such misuse to a certain extent by limiting the information that will be stored with a DNA profile and in the indices,17 but the Bill does not make it clear if the DNA profiles of individuals convicted for a crime will be stored and searched independently from other profiles. Additionally, though the Bill limits the use of DNA profiles and DNA samples to identification of perpetrators18, it allows for DNA profiles/DNA samples and related information related to be shared for creation and maintenance of a population statistics database that is to be used, as prescribed, for the purpose of identification research, protocol development, or quality control provided that it does not contain any personally identifiable information and does not violate ethical norms.”19

An indication of the possibility of how a DNA database could be misused in India can be seen in the CDFD’s stated objectives, where it lists “to create DNA marker databases of different caste populations of India.”20 CDFD appears to be collecting this data by requiring caste and origin of state to be filled in on the identification form that is submitted with any DNA sample.21 Though an argument could be made that this information could be used for research purposes, there appears to be no framework over the use of this information and this objective. Is the information stored along with the DNA sample? Is it used in criminal cases? Is it revealed during court cases or at other points of time?

Similarly, in the Report of the Working Group for the Eleventh Five Year Plan, it lists the following as a possible use of DNA profiling technology:

“Human population analysis with a view to elicit profiling of different caste populations of India to use them in forensic DNA fingerprinting and develop DNA databases.22

This objective is based on the assumption that caste is an immutable genetic trait and seems to ignore the fact that individuals change their caste and that caste is not uniformly passed on in marriage. Furthermore, using caste for forensic purposes and to develop DNA databases could far too easily be abused and result in the profiling of individuals, and identification errors. For example, in 2011 the UK police, in an attempt to catch the night stalker Delroy Grant, used DNA to (incorrectly) predict that he originated from the Winward Islands. The police then used mass DNA screenings of black men. The police initially eliminated Delroy Grant as a suspect because another Delroy Grant was on the DNA database, and the real Delroy Grant was eventually caught when the police pursued more traditional forms of investigation.23

Other uses for DNA databases and DNA samples in India have been envisioned over the years. For example, in 2010 the state of Tamil Nadu sought to amend the Prisoners Identification Act 1920 to allow for the establishment of a prisoners’ DNA database – which would require that any prisoner’s DNA be collected and stored.24 In another example, the home page of BioAxis DNA Research Centre (P) Limited, a private DNA laboratory offering forensic services states, “In a country like India which is densely populated there is huge requirement for these type of databases which may help in stopping different types of fraud like Ration card fraud, Voter ID Card fraud, Driving license fraud etc. The database may help the Indian police to differentiate the criminals and non criminals.”25 Not only is this statement incorrect in stating that a DNA database will differentiate between criminals and non-criminals, but DNA evidence is not useful in stopping ration card fraud etc. as it would require that DNA be extracted and authenticated for every instance of service. In 2012, the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at AFMC Pune proposed to establish a DNA data bank containing profiles of armed forces personnel.26 And in Uttar Pradesh, the government ordered mandatory sampling for DNA fingerprinting of dead bodies.27 These examples raise important questions about the scope of use, collection and storage of DNA profiles in databases that the Bill is silent on.

The assumption in the Bill that DNA evidence is infallible is another point of contention. The preamble of the Bill states that, “DNA analysis of body substances is a powerful technology that makes it possible to determine whether the source of origin of one body substance is identical to that of another, and further to establish the biological relationship, if any, between two individuals, living or dead with any doubt.”28 This statement ignores the possibility of false matches, cross-contamination, and laboratory error29 as DNA evidence is only as infallible as the humans collecting, analysing, and marshalling the evidence. These mistakes are not purely speculative, as cases that have relied on DNA as evidence in India demonstrate that the reliability of DNA evidence is questionable due to collection, analysis, and chain of custody errors. For example, in the Aarushi murder case the forensic expert who testified failed to remember which samples were collected at the scene of the crime30; in the French diplomat rape case, the DNA report came out with both negative and positive results;31 and in the Abhishek rape case the DNA sample had to be reanalysed after initial analysis did not prove conclusive.32 Yet the Bill does not mandate a set of best practices that could help in minimising these errors, such as defining what profiling system will be used nationally, and defining specific security measures that must be taken by DNA laboratories – all of which are currently left to be determined by the DNA board.33

The assumption in the preamble that DNA can establish if a relationship exists between two individuals without a doubt is also misleading as it implies that the use of DNA samples and the creation of a database will increase the conviction rate, when in actuality the exact number of accurate convictions resulting purely from DNA evidence is unknown, as is the number of innocent people who are falsely accused of a crime based on DNA evidence in India. This misconception is reflected on the website of the Department of Biotechnology’s information page for CDFD where it states:

“…The DNA fingerprinting service, given the fact that it has been shown to bring about dramatic increase in the conviction rate, will continue to be in much demand. With the crime burden on the society increasing, more and more requests for DNA fingerprinting are naturally anticipated. For example, starting from just a few cases of DNA fingerprinting per month, CDFD is now handling similar number of cases every day.”34

In addition to the claim that the DNA fingerprinting service has shown a dramatic increase in the conviction rate, is not supported by evidence in this article, according to the CDFD 2010-2011 annual report, the centre analysed DNA from 57 cases of deceased persons, 40 maternity/paternity cases, four rape and murder cases, eight sexual assault cases, and three kidney transplantation cases.35 This is in comparison to the 2006 – 2007 annual report, which quoted 83 paternity/maternity dispute cases, 68 identification of deceased, 11 cases of sexual assault, eight cases of murder, and two cases of wildlife poaching.36 From the numbers quoted in the CDFD annual report, it appears that paternity/maternity cases and identification of the deceased are the most frequent types of cases using DNA evidence.

Other concerns with the Bill include access controls to the database and rights of the individual. For example, the Bill does not require that a court order be issued for access to a DNA profile, and instead leaves it in the hand of the DNA bank manager to determine if communication of information relating to a match to a court, tribunal, law enforcement agency, or DNA laboratory is appropriate37. Additionally, the Data Bank Manager is empowered to grant access to any information on the database to any person or class of persons that he/she considers appropriate for the purposes of proper operation and maintenance or for training purposes.38 The low standards for access that are found in the Bill are worrisome as the possibility for tampering of evidence and analysis is increased.

The Bill is also missing important provisions that would be necessary to protect the rights of the individual. For example, individuals are not permitted a private cause of action for the unlawful collection, use, or retention of DNA, and individuals do not have the right to access their own information stored on the database.39 These are significant gaps in the proposed legislation as it restricts the rights of the individual.

In conclusion, India could benefit from having a legislation regulating, standardising, and harmonising the use, collection, analysis, and retention of DNA samples for crime-related purposes. The current 2012 draft of the Bill is a step in the right direction, and an improvement from the 2007 DNA Profiling Bill. The 2012 draft draws upon best practices from the US and Canada, but could also benefit from drawing upon best practices from countries like Scotland. Safeguards missing from the current draft that would strengthen the Bill include: limiting the scope of the DNA database to include only samples from a crime scene for serious crimes and not minor offenses, requiring the destruction of DNA samples once a DNA profile is created, clearly defining when a court order is needed to collect DNA samples, defining when consent is required and is not required from the individual for a DNA sample to be taken, and ensuring that the individual has a right of appeal.

1 Law Commission of India. Review of the Indian Evidence Act 1872. Pg. 43 Available at:http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/185thReport-PartII.pdf. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

2 Section 53. The Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973. Available at:http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/crpc/s53.htm. Last accessed October 9th 2012.

3 Department of Biotechnology. Ministry of Science & Technology GOI. Annual Report 2009 – 2010. pg. 189. Available at: http://dbtindia.nic.in/annualreports/DBT-An-Re-2009-10.pdf. Last Accessed October 9th 2012.

4 Chhibber, M. Govt Crawling on DNA Profiling Bill, CBI urges it to hurry, cites China. The Indian Express. July 12 2010. Available at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/govt-crawling-on-dna-profiling-bill-cbi-urges-it-to-hurry-cites-china/645247/0. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

5 Perspective Plan for Indian Forensics. Final report 2010. Table 64.1 -64.3 pg. 264-267. Available at: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/IFS%282010%29-FinalRpt.pdf. Last accessed: October 9th 2012. And CBI Manual. Chapter 27. Available at: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/IFS%282010%29-FinalRpt.pdf. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

6 For example: International Forensic Sciences, DNA Labs India (DLI), Truth Labs and Bio-Axis DNA Research Centre (P) Limited

7 Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012. Introduction

8 Id. section 12(a-z)

9 Id. Definition l. “DNA Profile” means results of analysis of a DNA sample with respect to human identification.

10 Id. Definition m. “DNA sample” means biological specimen of any nature that is utilized to conduct CAN analysis, collected in such manner as specified in Part II of the Schedule.

11 The UK DNA database and the European Court of Human Rights: Lessons India can learn from UK mistakes. PowerPoint Presentation. Dr. Helen Wallace, Genewatch UK. September 2012.

12 Hope, C. Crimes solved by DNA evidence fall despite millions being added to database. The Telegraph. November 12th 2008. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/3418649/Crimes-solved-by-DNA-evidence-fall-despite-millions-being-added-to-database.html. Last accessed: October 9th 2012

13 Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012. Section 32 (4(a-g))

14 Id. Section 35

15 Id. Schedule: List of applicable instances of Human DNA Profiling and Sources of Collection of Samples for DNA Test.

16 Gruber J. Forensic DNA Databases. Council for Responsible Genetics. September 2012. Powerpoint presentation

17 Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012. Section 32 (5)-((6)(a)-(b)). Indices will only contain DNA identification records and analysis prepared by the laboratory and approved by the DNA Board, while profiles in the offenders index will contain only the identity of the person, and other profiles will contain only the case reference number.

18 Id. Section 39

19 Id. Section 40(c)

20 CDFD. Annual Report 2010-2011. Pg19. Available at:http://www.cdfd.org.in/images/AR_2010_11.pdf. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

21 Caste and origin of state is a field of information that is required to be completed when an ‘identification form’ is sent to the CDFD along with a DNA sample for analysis. Form available at:http://www.cdfd.org.in/servicespages/dnafingerprinting.html

22 Report of the Working Group for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007 – 2012). October 2006. Pg. 152. Section: R&D Relating Services. Available at:http://planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/wrkgrp11/wg11_subdbt.pdf. Last accessed: October 9th 2012

23 Evans. M. Night Stalker: police blunders delayed arrest of Delroy Grant. March 24th 2011. The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8397585/Night-Stalker-police-blunders-delayed-arrest-of-Delroy-Grant.html. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

24 Narayan, P. A prisoner DNA database: Tamil Nadu shows the way. May 17th 2012. Available at:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/A-prisoner-DNA-database-Tamil-Nadu-shows-the-way/iplarticleshow/5938522.cms. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

25 BioAxis DNA Research Centre (P) Limited. Website Available at: http://www.dnares.in/dna-databank-database-of-india.php. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

26Times of India. AFMC to open DNA profiling centre today. February 2012. Available at:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-08/pune/31037108_1_dna-profile-dna-fingerprinting-data-bank. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

27Siddiqui, P. UP makes DNA sampling mandatory with postmortem. Times of India. September 4th 2012. Available at:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-04/lucknow/33581061_1_dead-bodies-postmortem-house-postmortem-report. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

28 Draft DNA Human Profiling Bill 2012. Introduction

29 Council for Responsible Genetics. Overview and Concerns Regarding the Indian Draft DNA Profiling Bill. September 2012. Pg. 2. Available at: http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/indian-draft-dna-profiling-act.pdf/view. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

30 DNA. Aarushi case: Expert forgets samples collected from murder spot. August 28th 2012. Available at: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_aarushi-case-expert-forgets-samples-collected-from-murder-spot_1733957. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

31 India Today. Daughter rape case: French diplomat’s DNA test is inconclusive. July 7th 2012. Available at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/french-diplomat-father-rapes-daughter-dna-test-bangalore/1/204270.html. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

32 The Times of India. DNA tests indicate Abhishek raped woman. May 30th 2006. Available at:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2006-05-30/india/27826225_1_abhishek-kasliwal-dna-fingerprinting-dna-tests. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

33 Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012. Section 18-27.

34 Department of Biotechnology. DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics, Hyderabad. Available at:http://dbtindia.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?id_pk=124. Last accessed: October 10 2012.

35 CDFD Annual Report 2010 – 2011.Pg.19. Available at:http://www.cdfd.org.in/images/AR_2010_11.pdf. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

36 CDFD Annual Report 2006-2007.Pg. 13. Available at:http://www.cdfd.org.in/images/AR_2006_07.pdf. Last accessed: October 10th 2012.

37 Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012. Section 35

38 Id. Section 41.

39 Council for Responsible Genetics. Overview and Concerns Regarding the Indian Draft DNA Profiling Bill. September 2012. Pg. 9 Available at: http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/indian-draft-dna-profiling-act.pdf/view. Last accessed: October 9th 2012.

 

In Rape cases-vaginal swabs need to be taken within 72 hours,Kalina #Forensic Lab gets it 3 months later


 


FSL says its overburdened,mostly with pointless tasks

Stop this stupidity,pleads desperate Kalina forensic lab 

In a case where a man got electrocuted,FSL got his viscera samples.Viscera tests are used to detect poison

In rape cases,vaginal swabs need to be taken within 72 hours.FSL routinely gets swabs taken over three months later

In one case,instead of clothes the victim was wearing when she was assaulted,FSL received five sets of saris she owned

 Oct 1, Mumbai Mirror Lata Mishra and Yogesh Sadhwani mirrorfeedback@indiatimes.com 

Experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina allege that a lack of understanding of forensics,and mindless application of rules,is hampering the pace of crime investigations in Mumbai.
They alleged that policemen and doctors who conduct post-mortems often send unnecessary samples for testing,which ends up delaying investigations.

This became a heated topic of discussion at a medical conference at Sion hospital on Sunday,where experts from FSL levelled charges against policemen and doctors.
Doctors vehemently refuted the allegations,and organisers had to step in to calm tempers.
Assistant director of FSL,Dr Vijay Thakre,said,There are several instances in which the viscera of a victim has been sent to us,despite it being case of burns,electrocution,hanging or snake bite.If the police and medical examiner conducting the post-mortem is aware of the cause of death,why take a viscera sample and send it to us for examination when it is not required Because of such unnecessary work,several other cases suffer.”
Other experts pointed to several similar cases where samples are thoughtlessly sent for tests that aren’t required or even applicable.One of the many cases pointed out was of a pregnant woman alleging rape.

The woman,who was one month pregnant,complained that she had been raped.She came to us a month after the alleged offence,but the medical examiner still sent us a vaginal swab for testing.It is well known that sperm die within 72 hours.In such a case there is no point in taking vaginal or other swabs, said another expert.

In several cases of rape or sexual assault,cops and medical examiners have sent mulptiple items of the victim’s clothing to FSL for DNA sampling.”Only the clothes that the person was wearing at the time of offence need to be examined.But in most cases we are sent five to six sarees and other garments,”said an expert.And in murder cases where a weapon was used,police do not think twice before sending bloood samples of all the accused arrested in the case.
FSL experts pointed out during the debate at Sion hospital that such “stupid” sampling leads to lengthy delays in their work.Such samples only keep us busy for no reason for days.The end result is that a lot of cases get delayed and it takes months for us to deliver reports, the expert added.Over 30,000 samples are still pending.
Dr MK Mavle,medical director of FSL,said that there is tremendous load on FSL at any point of time.If the doctor uses his discretion while sending samples,it will it reduce the work load at FSL and help us deliver results faster, he said.
A whole lot of experts from FSl pointed out taht due to such random samples,genuine cases suffer a lot.They pointed out samples sent for two important cases Cuffe Parade serial murders (1,100 samples) and Kurla Nehru Nagar rape and murder cases (1,300 samples),which ended up keeping them busy for days.
Nisar Tamboli,a spokeperson for the Mumbai police,said,”Yes it’s true that FSL has a tremendous load,but our job is to investigate the matter from all points of view.For the Kurla and Cuffe Parade cases we sent thousands of blood samples as we can only interrogate a suspect if his report comes back positive.”
Some doctors agree that samples are often sent without reason.This is very common at peripheral and rural hospitals.Doctors conducting post-mortems need to be trained in these aspects, said Dr Dr Shailesh Mohite,head of the forensics department at Nair Hospital.He added that apart from using their discretion,doctors should try and get samples tested within their hospitals first.Blood samples and swabs can be tested in-house.They need not be sent to FSL, he said.
Dr Rajesh Dere,a professor at Sion hospital and organiser of the conference,said that doctors often draw samples for fear that they may get pulled up later on.Take the case of Versova deaths (Rameez and Rehab),in which the expert did not feel the need to draw viscera samples.Later,when the investigation reveald foul play,he was pulled up.It is because of such cases that forensic doctors prefer to send all possible samples insead of using their discretion.”

 

Press Release-DNA profiling Bill does not address the rights of suspects and prisoners


 

The use of DNA samples for forensics purposes has been increasing as law enforcement in India are relying on DNA samples as a source of evidence to solve crimes. India currently does not have a legislation specifically regulating the collection, use, and storage of DNA samples for forensics purposes.

To address this gap, in 2007 a draft DNA Profiling Bill was created by the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics. In February 2012 a new draft of the bill from the department of biotechnology was been leaked. The draft Bill envisions creating state level DNA databases that will feed into a national level DNA database for the purposes of solving crime.

On September 27th the Centre for Internet and Society hosted a public talk at the Indian International Centre focused on the draft DNA Profiling Bill. Presenting at the meeting were international experts Dr. Helen Wallace director of GeneWatch UK and Jeremy Gruber president and executive director of the Council for Responsible Genetics US, and Dr. Anupuma Raina senior scientist at AIIMs.

Opening the meeting was a presentation by Dr. Anupama that focused on how DNA analysis has been used in various cases in India. Dr. Anupama emphasized the important role that DNA plays and the usefulness of the technology, but also cautioned that the police are still perfecting the use of DNA samples for forensic purposes. She promoted the passing of the DNA profiling bill with the correct safeguards. Dr. Anupama also provided insight into the current procedure for DNA analysis in India noting that consent is taken from individuals before taking DNA samples, and that ethical clearance is taken before DNA samples are taken and used for research purposes. She also noted that labs are working on improving quality insurance and emphasized the importance of chain of custody in ensuring that DNA samples are not contaminated.

Following Dr. Anupama, Jeremy Gruber spoke about the US experience with DNA databases and explained how DNA testing was initially introduced as a tool for establishing additional evidence for convicting violent felony offenders or freeing innocent individuals on a case to case basis. He explained how the technology of DNA sampling and its use in forensic cases can be both a useful tool when used justly and democratically, or can be harmful when used unjustly and undemocratically.

He noted that there has been an increase in the routine use and retention of DNA by law enforcement today for purposes such as using DNA databases for familial searching purposes, and using DNA analysis to create profiles of individuals. Concerns that Jeremy Gruber raised with respect to the draft DNA Profiling Bill included the assumption in the preamble of the bill that DNA is an infallible piece of evidence, pointing out that when DNA is used for forensic purposes it is vulnerable to inaccuracies such as false matches, sample contamination, and analysis error.

He also made the point that the definitions found in the bill are overly broad and work to expand the scope by defining a wide range of crimes for which individuals will be added to the DNA database for. These broad definitions essentially turn the database into an all crimes database. Other concerns with the bill included that DNA laboratories are not clearly independent of the police, and that the bill allows for the additional collection of DNA from missing persons and victims.

In her presentation, Dr. Helen Wallace described the UK experience, where the first DNA database was established in 1995. In 2000 a major expansion of the UK DNA database took place, but was controversial for a number of reasons. In 2008 the European Court of Justice ruled that the regime of retaining DNA samples in the UK was unlawful and a breach of privacy. Now the UK law requires that only a barcode with identifying information be stored. Dr. Wallace also emphasized the fact that the number of convictions resulting from DNA detections has not increased as the UK DNA database has expanded, because the number of solved crimes is driven by the number of crime scene samples.

Thus, samples on a database are only useful if they relate directly to the crime scene and a possible criminal. Therefore the more profiles that are added to the database that are related to petty crimes, civil cases, victims, volunteers etc. the less efficient and accurate the database becomes. Dr. Wallace recommended that a DNA database contain only careful crime scene evidence in order to ensure samples are matched accurately. Concerns with the DNA profiling Bill emphasized by Dr. Wallace included that consent is not provided for in the bill, and court orders are not required. Furthermore, the bill does contain a removal process, and it is unclear what DNA profiling system will be used.

Responding to the presentations made by the speakers, members of the audience raised concerns over the use of DNA sampling in India for reasons beyond forensic purposes, such as requiring surrogate mothers and the children to undergo DNA tests. Other members of the audience pointed out that the bill does not address the rights of suspects and prisoners. Additionally the question of the evidentiary weight of DNA samples in court was raised, along with the concern that the broad collection of DNA samples from individuals is just another example of the growing trend by the Indian government to collect and store information about its citizens.

for more informationcontact

Elonnai Hickok

Policy Associate
Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org

13- year-old tribal girl burnt alive by a jain family,raped ? #Naiduniya #Chhattisgarh #paidmedia


No english daily, national  , or even a channel ? has covered this #paidmedia

One english paper-  HITAVAD covered it

 The front-page of Hindi Newspaper, Nai duniya , Chhattisgarh edition today informs that a 13 year old  , sukmadi vadhda,  abujhmadiya a primitive tribal girl  from narayanpur, chhattisgarh, who was burnt alive by a jain family early this month might have been raped .Post mortem report reveals that   there is a possibility that 13 years old   girl,was raped before  burning her alive by a Jain family.But the post mortem report does not reveal all, and will   be sent to  forensic  science laboratory  in Raipur f or confirmation of sexual assault

On september 2,  the district court  judge ordered all the  family members of the Jain  family ,  Praful Jain, Prabha Jain, Pintu Jain  to 15 days  judicial custody under  IPC  Sec 302 and also have registered a case under the Atrocities act . 

WHAT MADE NEWS IN ENGLISH MEDIA IS FOLLOWS,- A LABORER RAPING HIS DAUGHTER, BUT A JAIN FAMILY BURNINGA TRIBAL GIRL NOT NEWS ?

13-yr-old girl raped, set on fire by father HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Raipur, September 07, 2012

A thirteen-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by her father, a daily wage earner, for two weeks and then set ablaze by him and left to die on the outskirts of the Chhattisgarh capital recently.

The girl was raped after her mother, also a daily wage earner, left the house after frequent squabbles with her husband.

Neighbours took the victim to a government hospital, where she is being treated for nearly 60% burn.

Doctors attending on the girl told HT she was out of danger but the traumatised girl was at a loss to fathom why her mother left her to the mercy of her father who not only raped her but tried to kill her as well.

The mother rushed to the hospital on learning about her daughter’s agony but seemed to be too shocked to speak to HT. She just said she would never forgive herself for leaving her daughter behind.

City superintendent of police Neeraj Chandrakar said, “The father has been booked for rape, attempt to murder and criminal assault. The girl narrated her ordeal in a statement, saying that she was raped for over two weeks after her mother went away from the family. The father tried to burn and kill her.”

J Dey murder: Journalist Jigna Vora gets bail after 8 months #Goodnews


 

J Dey murder case: Journalist Jigna Vora gets bail

Published: Saturday, Jul 28, 2012, 8:00 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agencies
Jigna Vora got her first breather in the eight months since her arrest for her alleged involvement in the murder of veteran journalist Jyotirmoy Dey on Friday when the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court granted her bail.

Ms. Vora was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch on November 25, 2011, for her alleged role in the murder. She was charged under provisions of the stringent MCOCA.

She was granted bail on a surety of Rs. 1 lakh and two personal bonds. The court also laid down the condition that she would not speak to the media. It directed her to be present at the police station twice a week.

The court took into consideration the protracted wait for forensic reports of her cell phone records and laptop. Citing lack of adequate technical infrastructure, the forensic science laboratory had told the court earlier that it was not able to get any “supporting data.” Speaking of the grounds for bail, a Crime Branch official told The Hindu, “The court said it could not wait longer for forensic reports. It also took into account the fact that she is the mother of a child. Moreover, she is not a gangster or hardened criminal.”

The Crime Branch had submitted six cell phones to FSL to retrieve deleted messages and call data for any possible proof related to the murder. It later submitted CDs to the court containing the retrieved data, material on a memory card and other files. “We argued that there was no material to support allegations of personal animosity or that she was in touch with gangsters abroad. Yes, we admitted that two phone calls were made, but they were in connection with news reports, which were published. We said that her every action cannot be treated as part of a conspiracy,” a defence lawyer told The Hindu.

While granting bail, the judge referred to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory’s failure to retrieve details of calls allegedly made by the journalist to underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is reported to have ordered Dey’s killing. The laboratory had stated in its report submitted to the court on July 23 that data from Vora’s six cellphone handsets could not be retrieved, as it does not have the necessary equipment to do so. The police had claimed that Vora had sent text messages to her friends, acquaintances and Dey during the course of her duty. They were banking on call details to build a watertight case against her.

The MCOCA court, however, laid down several conditions while granting the bail. Vora has to submit her passport to the police and must produce herself before the office of the crime branch, which is investigating Dey’s murder, twice a month.

Mr Dey, the Investigations Editor of MiD DAY‘s, was gunned down by four bike-borne assailants in broad daylight near his residence in Powai on June 11, 2011. Ms Vora, then working as a deputy bureau chief with a Mumbai daily, was the 11th arrested accused in the case.

Her name, however, did not figure in the chargesheet filed against 12 persons in December last year. She, instead, was named in a 1,400 page supplementary charge sheet filed in February this year.

Ms Vora has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence, besides stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Arms Act.

The murder was plotted and executed allegedly at the behest of underworld don Chhota Rajan. According to police, Ms Vora had allegedly provided Mr Dey’s mobile number and his exact location to Rajan, who has also been named in the charge sheet.

Vora will be released from the Byculla jail, where she is lodged, on Monday