Delhi court raps police for delay in submission of forensic reports

New Delhi: A court here on Friday pulled up senior police officers of south, south-west and New Delhi districts for their lackadaisical approach in filing charge sheets in sexual assault cases without obtaining forensic reports.

Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Sharma issued notice to the police officers concerned, including Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs), to explain why fine of Rs 10,000 should not be imposed on erring officials for not discharging their duty.

The court said the challans filed without obtaining the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) result cause hurdles for the prosecution as it is not in a position to examine witnesses in the absence of forensic reports or case property.

The court ordered that the copy of orders be forwarded to all officers concerned for due compliance and fixed October 17 for next hearing in the case.

The court said Delhi Police had failed to expedite the FSL report regarding the alleged rape of a 28-year-old Ph.D student by Jawaharlal Nehru University student Anmol Ratan.

A charge sheet was filed in the case, allegedly without obtaining the opinion from a forensic expert.

Currently, the court is hearing arguments on the charge and the bail plea of Ratan.

The fast-track court judge, who is exclusively dealing with sexual assault cases, observed that similar lapses were evident in other cases too and despite repeated reminders the police officials concerned were not taking steps for expediting the FSL reports.

A standing order dated September 8, 2015, was passed wherein it was made clear that in case of default in future, a cost of Rs 10,000 would be imposed on officials who failed to discharge their duty.

But there is no supervision by the DCP concerned in this regard, the court observed.

The court issued show-cause notice to all Investigating Officers, Station House Officers and DCPs of south, south west and New Delhi districts and asked them to reply as to why costs in terms of the September 8, 2015, order should not be imposed.

“Further a report be called in writing from all the DCPs concerned, that is, DCP-South, DCP-South-West as well as DCP-New Delhi as to in how many cases are FSL results still pending, where the charge sheet has been filed and the steps by the DCPs concerned from the date of deposit of case property till the receiving of the present notice,” the court said.

The court warned that officials, if they fail to comply with the orders, will appear in person and explain as to why appropriate action should not be taken against them.

The Delhi Police, while filing the charge sheet against Ratan, said the case property was sent to the FSL for expert opinion and sought time to file the supplementary charge sheet qua the FSL report.

The court directed the police to expedite the forensic report.