Assam among 7 other states fined Rs.50k for delay in prison reform case by SC

Assam among 7 other states fined Rs.50k for delay in prison reform case by SC

GUWAHATI | December 3, 2018:

The Supreme Court imposed a total cost of Rs. 50,000 on few state governments failing to co-operate with the Centre in filling up vacancies in Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL).

The states include Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Assam and Goa.

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The court imposed the cost while hearing an ongoing case on delays in prison reforms.

The court on Thursday had come down hard on the government for the slow pace of criminal trials for which the judiciary has often been blamed.

"You don't perform your job but you always criticise judiciary for delay in Justice," Justice Madan B Lokur had told the government's law officer Aman Lekhi.

In its previous hearing, the Centre had informed the court about the large number of vacancies in the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) and the state forensic labs.

"It's very strange. Tell your people (Centre) stop criticising judicial system as they are not doing their job," the court had said.

The Centre was supposed to submit a report on the steps it had taken to fill up the vacancies.

On November 23, during the hearing, the court had been informed that 40 per cent posts in forensic labs were lying vacant.

The matter had come up for hearing after deficiencies in jails were highlighted by two apex court judges during their visit to Faridabad jail and an observation home in June this year.

The court had observed that delays in receiving forensic reports forced criminal cases to drag on for years.

According to the affidavit which was submitted by the government last week, six Central Forensic Science Laboratories are there– in Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune. Of the sanctioned strength of 450, as many as 164 posts are lying vacant. At the Delhi forensic lab alone, 67 posts are vacant. Thirty-one units operate under state forensic laboratories where 3,685 appointments are yet to be made. The sanctioned strength is 7,582.

Source: HT

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