Truth Labs helps the common man

Truth Labs helps the common man

Truth Labs helps the common man

It was one of its kind when Truth Labs Forensic Services was set up nearly a decade ago.

 It took a lot of efforts by Dr KPC Gandhi, former Inspector General and Director of Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratories, to establish the India’s first independent forensic lab in 2007 in Hyderabad. He received support and help from some key personalities from different fields, who were determined to bring justice closer to the common man. Truth Labs now has its regional offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.

Dr Gandhi, having served 36 years in the police department at the Centre and state and abroad, has noted that systems in India are yet to fulfill the needs of the common man. He took voluntary retirement and established Truth Labs. 

“The common man still can’t go and register a crime at a police station and confidently ensure that justice is meted out to him through the existing systems of law. Similarly, if the common man is facing a civic problem he is unable to go to a court and obtain justice in a fixed time frame, as it drags on for decades. Many a time it is not uncommon to see that justice comes after a few of them die. This is a typical Indian justice system,” Dr Gandhi says.

He feels that the country has failed to utilise the dividends of demographic advantage as crimes are becoming uncontrollable, especially among the youth in India who are either underemployed or unemployed.  “They have time on hand and they are doing unlawful things. How to use the demographic dividend having free time but no work is by tapping their energies,” he observes.

Crime Stoppers is one organisation working successfully in 20 countries. Dr Gandhi brought Crime Stoppers of the US to India, a day after he took voluntary retirement. Crime Stoppers India (CSI) would collect information on crimes anonymously and use it for preventing a crime before it could happen. 

 He roped in Justice M N Venkatachalaiah, Justice Jagannadha Rao and General MA Zakir, few military officers, scientists, retired police officials and eventually the government also supported the endeavour.  

For three months it went on well as people started giving information and sent to government and police agencies. After six months the efforts  educed as the government agencies failed to convert that information into action. 

 After nine months, the trend  worsened and people started getting frustrated. “For instance there was a prostitution den in a residential area and people called us three times in a fortnight, but no action was taken. They were asking us why waste their time and energy if we can’t react in time. Slowly we started getting brickbats instead of bouquets. So we thought it is high time. Then came the Truth Labs into existence,” the former IG said.

After the CSI experience it was decided to allow people with evidence and problems to meet the experts who will help them with the knowledge of forensic science. In all, 18 very senior experts formed an advisory board of Truth Labs. “Noteworthy incident was, the same Governor ND Tiwari who inaugurated Truth Labs was struck with paternity issue and we did DNA finger printing of his illegitimate son. Nothing prevents us from finding the truth. We have done the case of Mulayam Singh Yadav, 2 G scam, recent JNU speech tape scam, etc,” Gandhi said recalling a few cases that the lab has cracked.

Truth Labs is doing case work for the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigating Agency,  Enforcement Directorate, Serious Fraud Investigation Office, Supreme Court, high courts, sessions courts, all cases of Lokayukta of Karnataka.  “Here there are no uncertainties. We don’t have to depend on anybody else. We do not charge for the services. I sold my properties but not taken any money from the government. Never approached any one for loans, we are completely independent. That is why we call it India’s first independent forensic laboratory. We are for the truth, nothing but the truth,” a determined Gandhi said.

As a result every month Truth Labs gets around 200 cases from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, including corporates like Microsoft, banks, police, insurance companies, individuals, consulates and government  departments.

The Delhi Police sent the tape of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar to find out whether the audio or the video of the tapes were doctored.  After the Truth Labs found that two of the tapes were doctored another lab gave a different report. 

Explaining this, Dr Gandhi said: “It is jugglery of words. There were two meetings held at JNU. One meeting with Kanhaiya and the other with the sympathisers of Kashmir cause. Different news agencies have collected them and some of them fairly telecast them and some mixed them. The Delhi Government sent us seven such video casts. We said two of them were doctored and the five were OK. Later Delhi Police sent the five undoctored ones to another lab and it said that they were not doctored. But they did not disclose how many they have sent to the other lab.”

Truth Labs is yet to come across a single court that says that its report is not acceptable.  “All of our 18 experts are former directors of forensic labs and by virtue of their accreditation and association with the Centre and state governments, the reports they give are accepted in courts and they also give evidence in the courts. That means that they are court recognised experts. They can also tender evidence in new cases also”. Now after five years the seniors have trained others working under them. They are all accredited by the Truth Labs. They are giving evidence in courts.