TODAY -

High Court directs Government
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 07 2019: A Division Bench of the High Court of Manipur, has directed the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the Director General of Police to ensure that a utilization report concerning Nirbhaya Fund for Forensic Science Laboratory Upgradation, reaches the Court on December 12 without fail.

The order of the Division Bench, comprised of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice MV Muralidaran, came following the hearing of a PIL filed by one RK Joysana for upgrading the Forensic Science Laboratory, Pangei.

During the hearing, the Court observed that substantial amounts of fund have been sanctioned under Nirbhaya Fund to be used by the States and as far as the Manipur is concerned, records showed that for Emergency Response Supports System, Rs 446.53 lakh had been sanctioned but there was disturbingly zero utilisation.

For strengthening the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Rs 235 lakh had been sanctioned but none of the funds had been utilized, the Court observed.

Furthermore, the Director of Forensic Science Laboratory issued a letter to the Inspector General of Police yesterday for repairing of building with fabrication/purchase of equipment for DNA analysis, recruiting a Scientific Assistant & one Technical Assistant for DNA unit and purchase of a vehicle for collection of materials from crime scenes.

From the said letter, the Court noted that everything is in the stage of proposal and pending with one or the other Departments and no action has been taken.

The money has been received from the Central Government but it is quite unfortunate that no action has been taken up by the State Government.

Mere correspondence between one Department to other will be of no avail.

That only shows red tapism and bureaucratic delay which is causing delay in strengthening the Forensic Science Laboratory, which is one of the key factors identified for the purpose of utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund, the Court ruled.

As such, the Court directed the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the Director General of Police to ensure that the utilization report of the Nirbhaya Fund for Forensic Science Laboratory Upgradation is submitted before the Court on December 19 without fail.

If any of the officers refuses or does not comply with the directive, he or she will be held personally liable and held responsible for disobeying order of the Court, it continued, reasoning that there has been lot of uproar in the public domain that justice has been delayed.

Further noting reports that Nirbhaya Fund has not been properly utilized by many of the States and the Ministry of Women Child Department has been impressing upon the State Government to utilise the fund for the safety and security of women, the High Court concluded that the status of utilization of funds as far as Manipur is concerned is evident from the chart prepared by the Registrar General of the High Court.

The Court then directed the State Government to take up the issue immediately and listed the matter on December 19 for reporting compliance.


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