Give importance to forensic evidence, says SC

Give importance to forensic evidence, says SC

The Supreme Court has asked the law enforcement agencies to give due importance to forensic science for crime detection in view of emergence of new types of crimes.

A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri said, “Many a times, reliable witnesses seldom come forward for deposing before the court, allowing the hardened criminals to get away, so the investigating agencies have to look for other ways which are sound in science as well as in law.

“Emerging new types of crimes and their level of sophistication, the traditional methods and tools have become outdated, hence the necessity to strengthen the forensic science for crime detection. Oral evidence depends on several facts, like power of observation, humiliation, external influence, forgetfulness etc, whereas forensic evidence is free from those infirmities. Judiciary should also be equipped to understand and deal with such scientific materials.”

The apex court also noted several times, a criminal case is solved primarily with circumstantial evidence, in such cases, scientific and technical evidence like DNA profile of the victims often played a pivotal role.“We are not advocating that, in all cases, the scientific evidence is the sure test, but only emphasising the necessity of promoting scientific evidence also to detect and prove crimes over and above the other evidence,” the bench added.

Dealing with the 1997 murder case of a 22-year-old New Zealand citizen, the court said the DNA profile had established that the skeleton dug out from the house of the accused-tourist guide was that of Diana, daughter of complainant Allen Jack Routley.

“The most important role of DNA profile is in the identification, such as an individual and his blood relations such as mother, father, brother, and so on. Successful identification of skeleton remains can also be performed by DNA profiling,” the bench said.

However, the court decided to commute death sentence of convict Dharam Deo Yadav to life term — without remission for at least 20 years — saying that the case did not fall under the rarest of rare category.

The victim, who visited Varanasi in 1997 as tourist was last seen with Yadav. The accused strangulated her and buried her body in his native village in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. The case was solved in August, 1998 after his arrest.

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