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State Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Without Any cleaner!

Forensic Science

GUWAHATI: Dearth of manpower in the Directorate of Forensic Science, Assam has come to such a pass that it has been making do without any cleaner for four/five years. How such an installation that has to tackle exhibits of all hues, including human organs, will work without any cleaner is anybody’s guess.

The Directorate has around fifty sanctioned posts vacant. It has three sanctioned posts of cleaner. However, all the three posts have been lying vacant for four/five years. When exhibits come to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) there for tests, utmost cleanliness has to be adhered to. The irony, however, is that there is none to clean the laboratory after conducting tests. With no option at hand, third grade and other officials have to clean the laboratory.

The State Government is well aware of manpower shortage in the directorate. Dispur, according to sources, has asked the Directorate to get the works of cleaners done through outsourcing of the job. Sources in the Directorate say that this is not a viable solution to the problem. Their logic is simple and clear. The directorate has much to deal with many confidential matters with the judiciary that sends a whole of exhibits for test. In such a confidential installation, engaging people to be outsourced by contractors cannot be considered trustworthy, sources say.

About the other sanctioned posts lying vacant in the directorate, the process of recruitment of senior scientific officers through the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) has been hanging in the Gauhati High Court.

The directorate has four posts of deputy directors vacant. Its digital forensic unit is without any regular staff. Of late, it has only one staff on contractual basis. The disposal of cases in the questioned document division has been badly affected due to shortage of manpower. It has only five staff, and two of them are novices. The digital forensic unit had 120 cases and 293 exhibits pending at the end of 2017, and the number of pending cases and exhibits remained the same at the end of 2018. Likewise, the questioned document division in the Directorate had 335 cases and 11,700 exhibits pending at the end of 2018 against 220 cases and 8,450 exhibits pending at the end of 2017.