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Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Dharwad (K’taka): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday stressed on the need to increase conviction rate in the country and to integrate the criminal justice system with forensic science-based investigation, in order to set right the law and order situation in India.

Highlighting that the country has been making strides in the field of forensic science, he said the country will have the largest number of forensic science experts in five years.

“I can tell the countrymen that, if any country in the whole world will have the largest number of forensic science experts in five years, it will be in India. Because India’s National Forensic Sciences University is the first such unique university in the world,” Shah said.

Speaking after laying the foundation for an off-campus facility of National Forensic Sciences University here, he said the crime world is changing at a fast pace whether it is related to fake currency, hawala transaction, infiltration at the border, narcotics, cybercrime, crime against women, criminals have gone far ahead than the police.

“Unless the police are two steps ahead of the criminals, prevention of crime is impossible. If police have to be two steps ahead, we have to increase the conviction ratio. Unless the basis of the investigation is not scientific, not on the basis of forensic science, we will not be able to get punishment for the culprits in the court,” he added.

Further suggesting that for all such crime scenes of offences that will attract punishment of more than six years, the forensic science officer must reach first, the Union Minister complimented the Karnataka police for implementing it in urban areas, and said it will be helpful in crime detection and conviction.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, several ministers from the state government, legislators, top officials of Home and Police departments were present at the event.

Noting that as India is progressing the challenges will also increase, Shah said there is a need to prepare experts in accordance with those challenges.

There are three parts for law and order, he said, one is practical law and order which is managed by police, crime investigation in which forensic science has a big role, and then strengthening the criminal justice system.

“Forensic science evidence will be given importance in our justice system, so we are amending the IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act to strengthen it for giving punishment to criminals based on scientific evidence,” he said, adding that it is no more the time for “third degree methods”.

Highlighting that the conviction rate in Canada is 62 per cent, Israel 93 per cent, England 80 per cent and America 90 per cent, while India’s is 50 per cent, Shah said: “we cannot be lagging behind in this. If we have to set right the law and order situation in the country, we have to increase our conviction rate. We will have to integrate our criminal justice system with forensic science-based investigation.”

For certain heinous crimes, forensic science investigation has to be made mandatory, he said.

For forensic investigation to be made “compulsory” for offences attracting punishment of more than six years, across the country, we will need 8,000-10,000 forensic science experts every year for nine years.

Now, with NFSU campuses slowly coming up at various places across the country, we will get 10,000 experts who will strengthen the criminal justice system for years to come, he added.

During his address, Shah credited former deputy prime minister and ex-Union home minister L K Advani for starting the forensic science department in the country and for putting focus on the subject.

He said, later Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister took the initiative to have the best-in-class forensic science laboratories, and identified the lack of trained experts that resulted in the establishment of Gujarat Forensic Sciences University.

As Prime Minister in his second term, Modi thought about National Forensic Sciences University and it was established, Shah said, adding that he is proud of being the Home Minister of the state and nation, when universities were established in Gujarat and at the national level respectively.

Noting that the foundation has been laid for the ninth off-campus facility of National Forensic Sciences University in Dharwad, Shah said, in this campus of NFSU, subjects relating to forensic science like cybersecurity, digital forensics, artificial intelligence, DNA forensics, food processing, environment forensics, and agriculture forensics, will be taught till the expert level.

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