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Challenges Facing Forensic Science in India

The forensic science system struggles with a multitude of challenges, arising from limited resources, shortage of forensic laboratories and forensic experts, ever increasing number of registered cases dependent on reports from forensic laboratories, aging infrastructure, inefficient procedures, and inadequate training and education. These shortcomings impede the effective use of forensic evidence in criminal investigations and court proceedings, ultimately hindering the pursuit of justice and undermining the rule of law in the nation.

India faces a critical challenge in the form of insufficient resources and funding for its forensic laboratories. This shortage manifests in understaffed facilities, outdated equipment, and limited budgets, leading to significant delays in processing evidence, backlogs of cases, and compromised quality of analysis. The uneven distribution of forensic infrastructure across urban and rural areas further exacerbates the issue, creating disparities in access to justice.

India's forensic science curriculum falls short of international standards, featuring outdated and insufficient training for professionals. This gap leads to a shortage of skilled forensic experts and technicians, hindering thorough investigations and reliable expert testimony in court. To address this, improved training and education programs are crucial to bolster the capabilities of forensic practitioners and ensure the integrity and accuracy of forensic analysis.

Forensic science in India faces significant challenges due to the absence of standardized protocols and quality assurance mechanisms in forensic procedures. This can result in inconsistent analysis, unreliable findings, and difficulties in admitting forensic evidence in court. To bolster the credibility and reliability of forensic science in India, establishing strong quality control measures and accreditation standards for forensic laboratories is crucial.

India's forensic investigation process is hampered by bureaucratic obstacles and procedural delays, hindering the swift administration of justice. Complicated legal procedures, protracted court hearings, and the lack of specialized forensic courts contribute to the prolonged resolution of forensic cases. Streamlining forensic protocols and implementing expedited processes for forensic evidence analysis and courtroom presentation can help overcome these challenges.

The integrity and impartiality of forensic science in different regions are significantly hampered by pervasive corruption and political interference in investigations. Evidence tampering, manipulated reports and undue influence on experts erode public trust in the criminal justice system and undermine the reliability of forensic evidence. To combat this, strengthening institutional safeguards, promoting transparency, and ensuring the independence of forensic laboratories are crucial steps for safeguarding the integrity of investigations.

The forensic science community confronts not only internal hurdles but also external pressures and evolving threats, including cybercrime, crypto crime, terrorism, and transnational organized crime. The rapid pace of technological advancement and the sophistication of modern criminal activity pose new challenges for forensic science professionals, demanding ongoing innovation and adaptation to remain ahead of emerging threats.

Addressing the complex challenges facing forensic science demands a united front. This requires collaborative action from government agencies, law enforcement, forensic experts, academia, and civil society. To strengthen forensic science and ensure its vital role in justice, several key steps are crucial like investing in updated facilities and technology is essential, equipping forensic professionals with the latest knowledge and skills is vital, implementing robust systems to guarantee the reliability of forensic evidence, simplifying and optimizing processes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, upholding ethical standards and integrity within the forensic system, learning from and collaborating with international partners to advance best practices. By taking these steps, India can build a robust and reliable forensic science system, contributing to a fairer and more efficient justice system.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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