Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Rajasthan High Court disposes suo motu petition while dealing with second bail application in the case

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The Rajasthan High Court disposed of a Suo Motu petition registered in 2014 by the Court while dealing with Second Bail Application in a Case during which the High Court came across the enormous delay that is being caused by the State Forensic Science Laboratory in sending the chemical analysis report of Viscera of deceased.

The Court, concerned with the delay in submission of the Forensic Report before the Court and its impact on the fairness of the trial, a detailed order came to be passed on 13.11.2013 requiring Director State Forensic Science Laboratory, Jaipur to file specific affidavit giving details of the manpower infrastructure available. That is how this Suo Motu petition was germinated, which has remained pending before this Court for the last eight years.

During this period, in compliance with the directions issued by the High Court from time to time, the situation has improved. Now Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (RFSL) at Ajmer, Bikaner and Bharatour, in addition to RFSL at Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur have also been established. The efforts to improve infrastructure, manpower and equipment in various Forensic Science Laboratories have been stated in a number of affidavits which have been filed before this Court from time to time.

The High Court has also taken into consideration the comparison of input and output of cases in 2014 with that of 2022. Moreover, procurement of instruments has also been stated in various affidavits. The respondents in their affidavits have also come out with an increase in the number of posts of Senior Scientific Officer, Lab Assistant, Junior Lab Assistant, Senior Lab Assistant. Recruitment process against the post of Senior Scientific Officer has also been continued and a large number of appointments have also been made though at the same place the process of recruitment is continuing.

As far as appointment to the post of Lab Attendant and Junior Lab Attendant is concerned, it has been stated that select list has been received from the Rajasthan Staff Selection Board and process for grant of appointment is going on. In so far as 24 posts of Senior Scientific Officer under recruitment of the year 2019 are concerned, it is stated that the selections are being held by Rajasthan Public Service Commission.

It is also stated that as far as building of RFSL at Bharatpur is concerned, tender has been floated and the project is underway. Further, it is stated that the process for appointment to the post of Senior Scientific Officer, Lab Assistant, Junior Lab Assistant under recruitment of year 2019 and 2022 respectively is pending. As far as Lab Assistant and Junior Lab Assistant is concerned, what has been stated is that the process of appointment is at an advanced stage as the merit list has been received from the Rajasthan Staff Selection Board.

Therefore it is directed by the High Court that in those cases where the merit list has been received, without further loss of time, the appointments should be made at the earliest. In so far as pending recruitment of the year 2019 for filling up 24 posts of Senior Scientific Officer is concerned, Rajasthan Public Service Commission shall ensure that the process of selection is completed within the time schedule framed by it. The construction of the RFSL building at Bharatpur shall also be completed as early as possible.

Taking into consideration the state of affairs which were in existence in so far as functioning of State Forensic Labs in 2014 in comparison to the improvement which have so far been made in these eight years, the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Anil Kumar Upman consider that, at this stage, this suo motu petition can be disposed off.

With the aforesaid observations and directions, the suo motu petition is disposed of by the High Court with liberty to revive in case it is found that various projects and process of appointment despite lapse of reasonable period has not been completed.

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