Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Lab at Chandigarh

What: Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory

Where: Chandigarh

When: June 1, 2018

  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on June 1, 2018 laid foundation of ‘Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory’ in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab, Chandigarh. It is India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab.
  • The lab is being set up as a model forensic lab and would be replicated in other parts of the country.
  • In Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, four units are to be established to address cases related to women: 
    • Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit
    • Paternity Unit
    • Human Identification Unit
    • Mitochondrial Unit
  • As per the Minister, the current capacity of CFSL, Chandigarh is less than 160 cases per year and the Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory is estimated to increase the capacity to 2000 cases per year.  

Five more advanced forensic labs

  • Five more advanced forensic labs would come up in Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal in the next 3 months bringing the total minimum annual capacity of the labs to 50000 cases.
  • The Labs in Chennai and Mumbai would be set up with WCD funds while remaining 3 labs would be set up with funds by Home Ministry.
  • To meet international standards and deliver timely justice to women, advanced forensic DNA laboratories with latest high throughput DNA technology, are required, hence such labs  are being established. 

Special forensic kits for rape cases

  • Underscoring the importance of the forensics in nabbing the culprits in sexual assault cases, that special forensic kits for rape would be distributed to all the police stations and hospitals by the month of July.
  • The forensic rape kits are currently with CFSL Chandigarh for validation. These inviolable kits will be used for providing uncontaminated evidence.
  • These kits would contain a complete list of evidence/samples to be collected along with the equipment required to collect the evidence.  The kits would be locked and sealed before being sent to forensic labs.  The details of name of the person, date and time of sealing the kit would be recorded in the kit.  

About Central Forensic Science Labs (CFSLs)

  • Forensic science plays a vital role in the criminal justice delivery system by providing investigators with scientifically based information through the analysis of physical evidence.
  • With increasing reports of crime against women such as sexual assault, foeticide, homicide etc. there is an increasing demand for better scientific analysis of physical evidence. Scrutiny by Hon’ble courts demands more admissible, accurate and powerful forensic proof for human individualisation.
  • In sexual assault cases, the ideal time frame to complete the examination and submission of report is 90 days. Furthermore, it is important that the biological crime exhibit is stored and preserved in scientific manner so as to make any examination/reporting meaningful. However, presently such a storage/preservation capacity is around 200 cases in CFSL, Chandigarh.   
  • At present there are 6 Central Forensic Science Labs (CFSLs) in Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhopal and one State Forensic Science Lab in each State/UT.  These las are responsible for conducting forensic analysis of all cases in the country including sexual assault, criminal paternity and homicide.

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