Experts Demand Use of DNA Evidence to Solve Crime in India

AWhere’s The DNA? – World’s Best Crime Fighting Technology

New Delhi, Delhi, India

  • Panel recommends amendment in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to include scientific investigation in crime
  • Science validates use of DNA as conclusive evidence in heinous crimes
  • Not enough DNA testing as GTH estimates India’s crime labs collectively complete less than 7,500 cases annually
  • DNA collected stuck in huge backlogs owing to lack of DNA testing infrastructure
‘Where’s The DNA?’, first of its kind platform organised by Gordon Thomas Honeywell-GA (GTH) brings together experts from the law enforcement, judiciary, forensics, victim advocacy, academia and media groups to discuss the imperative need to build conviction, exonerate the innocent and solve crime to expedite the Indian criminal justice system! A call to action, and an appeal to law makers and enforcement groups, it is set to promote the use of DNA evidence, the world’s best crime fighting technology!

Supporting the move, Senior Advocate Rupinder Singh Suri, President Bar Association Supreme Court of India, said, “DNA evidence is key to justice delivery system! An invaluable tool, with 100% accuracy and reliability for exonerating individuals who have been wrongfully convicted. The conventional methods of investigation by the I.O/police are a passé being obsolete and unproductive. It is the scientific investigation only which kick starts the hunt for the criminal.”

CThere is presently no specific provision under Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to manage science, technology and forensic science issues. Due to lack of having any such provision, investigating officers have to face trouble in collecting evidences which involves modern mechanisms to prove the accused person guilty. Senior Advocate Ashok Bhan, senior member of executive of Supreme Court Bar Association, added, “There is urgent need to sensitise the law makers to incorporate provisions in CrPC and Evidence act to manage science and technology in investigation of crimes and trials.”

The law machinery world over is increasingly relying on DNA forensics to solve crime, whereas, India is way behind in adoption. Lack of scientific methods in investigations and absence of a proper policy framework in the country are hampering justice. “India, needs a more aggressive DNA ‘Collect, Test and Compare’ approach for faster convictions and disposal of cases by courts,” says, Tim Schellberg, President, GTH-GA. He adds, “Over 60,000 DNA tests are completed for crime scenes annually in the United Kingdom and GTH estimates crime labs in India able to complete only 7,500 cases tested annually. This is a shockingly low number considering India’s size of population is thirteen times greater than the United Kingdom!”

Explaining the science underlying the use of DNA evidence, Dr. Durgadas Kasbekar, INSA, Senior Scientist, Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), further qualifies, “DNA evidence is sufficiently conclusive to solve crime as only monozygotic twins share the same DNA profile. Different tissues; teeth, bones, blood (a drop is enough), spit, semen-detected on cloth using specific staining procedures, skin cells sloughed off with sweat, yield the same DNA profile if they are from the same individual.” Therefore, outside of identical twins, no two people have the same DNA pattern.

Sharing his perspective, Senior Advocate, Vivek Sood, Delhi High Court talked about DNA evidence as the right to fair investigation that must be made a part of the DNA of Criminal Justice in India. He said, “Fair and competent investigation in a criminal case is the backbone of criminal justice in any society. Collection of DNA evidence is equally important from the perspective of the prosecution as well as the accused. Hence, collection of DNA evidence, in appropriate cases can be said to be in compliance with Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees to every person the fundamental right to life and liberty.”

BTalking of strengthening investigations by DNA Profiling, Ravi Kant, Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and President of Human Rights organization, Shakti Vahini (working on anti-human trafficking and issues related to violence against women and children) expressed, “If India has to send a strong message to perpetrators of crimes and to instill the fear of the law we have to ensure that evidence collection has to be strengthened. Crime scenes have to be forensically examined, crucial evidences collected, scientifically examined & analysed. DNA Profiling offers one of the most reliable forensic evidence which can be very helpful in solving of cases”.

The session was moderated by Senior Journalist Sidharth Pandey at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi, witnessing active support from experts, demanding use of DNA evidence and scientific approach to solve crime in India. The panel was represented by:

  • Tim Schellberg, Founder & President, Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs
  • Advocate G P Thareja, Retired and Additional District & Sessions Judge
  • N. Ramachandaran, President, Indian Police Foundation
  • Dr. Durgadas Kasbekar, INSA Senior Scientist
  • Senior Advocate Vivek Sood, Delhi High Court
  • Advocate Ravi Kant, Supreme Court of India

The panel established importance of DNA Profiling Board – A statutory body to be constituted in pursuance of 271st Law Commission Report on DNA Profiling which would undertake functions such as laying down procedures and standards to establish DNA laboratories and granting accreditation to such laboratories; and advising the concerned Ministries / Departments of the Central and State Governments on issues relating to DNA laboratories. The Board shall also be responsible to supervise, monitor, inspect and assess the laboratories. It will frame guidelines for training of the Police and other investigating agencies dealing with DNA related matters. Advising on all ethical and human rights issues relating to DNA testing in consonance with international guidelines will be another function of the Board. It will recommend research and development activities in DNA testing and related issues, etc.

Experts concluded that India must formulate rigorous quality assurance and accreditation programs for DNA testing for implementing the DNA evidence in criminal investigations. This would clearly mark distinction made between human error, attempted fraud and technical failures. While low adoption rate can be attributed to poor infrastructure and lack of policy push, the root of the problem is knowledge gaps and misconceptions about DNA forensics across all levels of our society and this dialogue and campaign on, ‘Where’s The DNA?’ is designed to eliminate just that.

About GTH-GA

Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs is globally recognised public affairs consultancy firm that has expertise with forensic DNA database policy, legislative, and law. For nearly twenty years, consultants at GTH-GA have consulted in over 50 countries and states on legislation and policies to establish or expand criminal offender DNA databases. GTH-GA collaborates closely with governmental officials, crime labs, police and the DNA industry. GTH-GA operates the DNAResource.com website that has been used as the world’s primary source for DNA database policy and legislative information since 2000.

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Survivor Volunteers as Bait to Net Traffickers

Published in the Times of India:

01_11_2017_004_032

KOLKATA: A 30-year-old trafficking victim from the Bishnupur area of South 24 Parganas took it on herself to act as a bait for cops and led them to the arrest of four traffickers on Monday . The woman was trafficked to Delhi five years ago and has been facing threats after being rescued soon after.

Threatened repeatedly to withdraw her case, the victim was even offered a huge amount to change her statement against the traffickers. The victim is a resident of Bishnupur’s Damdama.
For a woman who can barely make her ends meet -working as a daily labourer -it was an offer hard to refuse.She agreed to meet her tormentors at Sonarpur railway station on Monday night, but her motive was to use herself as a bait and help cops nab all the accused. Before meeting the accused, she had sent an SOS to NGO Shakti Vahini -which had rescued her fiver years back. The NGO in turn informed the top brass of South 24 Parganas police, who promised her of all help.
“Every bhaiphota they would re turn, bringing back painful memories.I decided to end it. My mother took the first step. She took down the numbers of the two female traffickers, one of them was identified as Deepali. They had come to my house to settle the matter. I called Deepali and recorded the conversation. When cops reached my house on the night of the operation, they asked me to ensure that I get as ma ny traffickers out in the open as possible. So I called up Deepali and claimed my mother-in-law was sick and was admitted at a Kolkata hospital,” said the victim.

The 30-year-old had demanded Rs 1 lakh so that heads of the gang get involved in the affair. “On Monday , the tormentors asked me to come to Baruipur but I refused. Later, we settled for So narpur platform 4. Even then Deepaili kept insisting me to go near an overbridge. But when I said I have to go to Kolkata for my mother-in-law’s treatment, they offered me a car ride. That is when they all showed up and the cops arrested them,” added the girl.
“It would not have been possible without the courage the woman displayed all through,” said a senior officer of Bishnupur police police station.
According to Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini -the NGO who stood by her in her fight -the incident shows how well-organized the trafficking gangs are. “The next court hearing is in December where a sentencing is expected. The traffickers desperately wanted her to retract her statement – a pressure she had been withstanding since 2014. All the other five girls rescued along with her had retracted their statements, but she had even travelled to Delhi’s Tis Hazari court to record her statement,” said Rishi Kant.
Cops said, it all started when a chance raid in GB Road by Delhi police on October 23 in 2012 led to the girl’s rescue. On November 11, 2012, the victim was given in custody of her father.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING RACKET BUSTED WITH THE ARREST OF TWO

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A HUMAN TRAFFICKINGRACKET BUSTED WITH THE ARREST OF TWO.

THREE MINOR GIRLS RESCUED.

 Crime Branchhas busted a human trafficking racket with the arrest of two persons namely Prabhakar Singh @Prakash @ Tinkoo (24 yrs) s/o Late Bholi Singh r/o Vill. Rotu Road, Distt.Ranchi, Jharkhand and Mohd. Israfil (28 yrs) s/o Mohd. Mustkim r/o Vill.Sultana, Distt. Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. They have been operating from Shakurpur,Delhi and involved in trafficking of minor girls from Jharkhand.

INFORMATION,TEAM AND OPERATION: –

On 05.11.2015, a complaint wasreceived from Child Welfare Committee, Gumla, Jharkhand and NGO Shakti Vahini torescue one 15 years old minor girl from Shakurpur area, reported missing videFIR No.73/15 u/s 363/365/367/370/372 IPC, 23/26 JJ Act, 16/18 Bounded LabourAct, 25/26 Interstate Migration Labour Act, PS AHTU, Palkot, Gumla, Jharkhand .

A team of Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU)led by DCP Rajeev Sharma, consisting of ACP Jitender Singh, Inspr. JoginderSingh, SIs Virender, Rohit, ASI Ramesh, HC Krishan, Ct Prem and W/Ct Sukanya wasconstituted under the supervision of Addl.CP Alok Kumar to take immediate legalaction to rescue the girl. The team was accompanied by father of the victimgirl, members of CWC and NGO Shakti Vahini.

The team collected information about suspect Prakash in Shakurpur area by deploying secret informers in the area. Subsequently,on the basis of secret information, the team checked H.No.E-104, 5thFloor, Shakurpur, Delhi where a placement agency in the name & style ofDipika Placement Service Centre was being run and two persons namely PrabhakarSingh @ Prakash @ Tinkoo and Mohd. Israfil were found present.

On enquiry, both the above said persons Prabhakar@ Prakash and Mohd. Israfil disclosed their involvement in the kidnapping of the victim girl and other minor girls. On their disclosure and pointing out, three girls including the victim were rescued from Shakurpur, Surajmal Vihar andPaschim Vihar, Delhi. The accused Prabhkar @ Prakash used to bring the minorgirls from various places of Jharkhand and hand over to Mohd. Israfil for Rs.15,000/-per girl and further takes Rs. 35,000/- from employers. They have been involvedin this illegal business since last five years.

 The accused were arrested by Crime Branchunder appropriate sections of law and further action is being taken byJharkhand police.

MODUS OPERANDI:-

Trafficker Prabhakar @ Prakash is resident of Ranchi and used to visit the rural areas of District Gumla, Jharkhand frequently in search of victims. He would lure minor girls on the pretext of employment/ good income or for site seeing in Delhi. He used to bring them toDelhi without informing their parents and hand them over to the accused Mohd. Israfil at the rate of Rs. 15,000/- per girl. Md. Israfil would further employ each girl after charging Rs. 35,000/- from the employer. Md. Israfil would further collect the monthly payment from the employer and use the same for their own use. Nothing was paid to the girl or their parents. In the month of September2015, Prabhakar @ Prakash had lured three minor girls and handed them over toMd. Israfil.

Accused Mohd. Israfil is previously involvedin the following cases:

  1. FIRNo. 269/12, dt.14-07-12, u/s 374, IPC r.w. 23, 26 JJ Act, P.S. Subhash Place.
  2. FIRNo. 449/12, dt.23-11-12, u/s 376 (G) IPC, P.S. Subhash Place.
  3. FIRNo. 315/13, dt.26-07-13, u/s 323,342,509 IPC, P.S. Subhash Place.

State to sign MoUs with UP and WB

SHAKTI VAHINIBy Kelly Kisalaya in Times of India

Ranchi: Jharkhand social welfare and women and child development department is planning to sign memorandum of understanding with Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal governments to combat the problem of trafficking.

Social Welfare Department secretary of Jharkhand, Mridula Sinha, attended a meeting in Jharkhand Bhavan in Delhi on Tuesday regarding establishment of state rescue centre in Jharkhand Bhavan to support victims of trafficking and violence.

The meeting was attended by Sharmistha Das, joint secretary, department of social welfare, women and child development of West Bengal, Ministhy S Nair, special secretary, home, Uttar Pradesh, Rupinder kaur, member, Delhi Commission for Women, chairpersons and members of the child welfare committees across Delhi, Delhi Police and representatives of NGOs.

During the meeting, Mridula Sinha proposed the idea of signing of MoUs to the officials of UP and WB government, which was welcomed by all.

Sinha said, “The discussion was very positive and fruitful. The MoU will help all the source and destination states in exchanging information, increase mutual understanding among states, and enable rescue of girls from every state.”

The MoU would be on the lines of the MoU which was signed between Maharashtra and West Bengal government in 2014 to combat trafficking.

IMG_5592“The draft of MoU is being made and it will be finalised within a month or two. We will consider the MoU between Maharashtra and WB government and also add more points to it,” Sinha said.

An important point under this MoU would be sending the rescued girls immediately to their home state if they are found in any of the states which signed the MoU.

Rishi Kant, member of Delhi based NGO Shakti Vahini, who was present in the meeting said, “It is a positive step by the Jharkhand government and other states should replicate it. It is a good beginning but there is still a long way to go and all the stakeholders should come forward and support it.”

Meanwhile, a shelter home of social welfare department is to be inaugurated on Thursday in Ranchi in which rescued trafficking victims and women seeking shelter would be rehabilitated.

SHAKTI VAHINI PARTNERS IN TRAFFICKING RESOURCE CENTRE AT NEW DELHI

SHAKTI VAHINI PUBLISHED IN THE PIONEER

Children and Young Girls of the State trafficked to various parts of the nation can finally be traced at the earliest from the nation Capital. The Social Welfare Department has initiated a meeting with officers of West Bengal (WB), Uttar Pradesh Government and Delhi Administration as well as with NGO partners for setting a Trafficking Resource Centre at New Delhi on Tuesday.

Ranchi District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) Kala Nath has been appointed as the Nodal Officer of the Centre. “The meeting was called for two agendas. Firstly, to appoint a Nodal Officer for the upcoming Trafficking Resource Centre. It will help officials of various states and NGO representatives to get in direct touch with a concerned officer of Jharkhand whenever a child or woman of the state is rescued from other states like Haryana, UP or WB.

Secondly, it was held to strengthen the inter-state coordination for rescuing trafficking victims of Jharkhand,” NGO Shakti Vahini president Ravi Kant, also an Advocate of Supreme Court told

The Pioneer over a telephonic conversation from New Delhi.The meeting was an introductory session attended by Social Welfare Principal Secretary Mridula Sinha, Jharkhand Bhawan Resident Commissioner Uday Pratap Singh, Joint Secretary to the Government of West Bengal Sarmistha Das, Delhi Commission for Women member Rupinder Kaur, Delhi Legal Services Authority member, Delhi Police officers, Child Welfare Committee members, Ministry of Home officer, Special Home Secretary of Uttar Pradesh officer and representatives from NGOs BKS, Shakti Vahini and Save the Children.

SHAKTI VAHINI“The centre once established will help all the stakeholders of the Jharkhand government to accommodate the rescued trafficked individuals of the state from Haryana, New Delhi-NCR regions and Uttar Pradesh safely where the maximum cases of trafficking are reported,” said Ravi Kant.

Other Sources in New Delhi maintained several discussions related to the matter like promoting helpline number for the victims and steps to tackle the trafficking issue through a unified approach were done.

Save the Children State Programme Manager Mahadev Hansda informed indentifying a location for constructing the center is in process. “The Centre will work in two modes apart from trafficking. It will keep in regular touch with children aged below 18 years working in homes and organizations at New Delhi. In case, a child of Jharkhand is harassed by their owners in home or other places, immediate action will be taken against them. Moreover, rescued girls will be given vocational training in the centre,” he said.

Similar meeting of Jharkhand government officials is scheduled with Ghaziabad, Nodia and Haryana representatives in July. Sources informed that Chief Minister Raghubar Das is keen to begin the Resource Centre and had discussed on it with state officers posted in New Delhi during his recent visit to the national Capital.

मानव तस्करी के खिलाफ खड़ी हुई शक्ति वाहिनी

d2524

PUBLISHED IN DAINIK JAGRAN

जागरण संवाददाता, सिलीगुड़ी:

मानव तस्करी अपने आप में एक जघन्य अपराध है। किंतु आज भी मानव तस्करी धड़ल्ले से की जाती है। कभी विवाह का प्रलोभन देकर तो कभी नौकरी देने के बहाने तस्करी की जाती है। खासकर बच्चों और महिलाआंे की तस्करी की जाती है। ऐसे में एक संस्था आगे आई जिसे शक्तिवाहिनी के नाम से जाना जाता है। इसकी स्थापना सर्वप्रथम दिल्ली में वर्ष 2001 में हुई थी। तीन भाइयों ने मिलकर इसकी स्थापना की थी।

जिसमें रविकांत इसके अध्यक्ष है। निशीकांत एक कार्यकर्ता और ऋषिकांत एक एक्जेक्यूटिव डायरेक्टर है। इसी कड़ी के तहत वर्ष जुलाई वर्ष 2011 में शहर में भी शक्तिवाहिनी नामक संस्था की स्थापना की गई। जिसका प्रमुख उद्देश्य था यहां से तस्करी की गई महिलाओं को मुक्त कराना। इस संबंध में संस्था से जुड़े निशिकांत का कहना है कि इन तीन वषरे में पूरे देश से आठ सौ महिलाआंे और बच्चों को तस्करों के चंगुल से छुड़वाया गया। जिसमें तीन सौ पचास महिलाएं बंगाल से हैं। जिसमें चालीस प्रतिशत बच्चियां है। इसी कड़ी के तहत रविकांत कहते हैं कि इस शहर सहित छह जिलों में संस्था द्वारा कार्यालय बनाने की जरूरत महसूस तब की गई। जब हम देखते थे कि अक्सर तस्करी की गई महिलाएं इस राज्य से जुड़ी होती थी।

खासकर पहाड़ी और चाय बागान इलाके की होती थी। ऐसे में हमलोगों ने निर्णय लिया कि जब यहीं से तस्करी की जाती है तो यहीं पर कार्यालय की स्थापना की जानी चाहिए। ताकि प्रकार की तस्करी को रोका जा सके। इस बारे में यहां के लोगों बताया जाए। 1संस्था से जुड़े दीप बनर्जी कहते हैं जागरूकता अभियान चलाने के लिए लिए ग्रुप बनाए गए है जो विभिन्न स्थानों पर जागरूकता अभियान चलाते हैं।

दार्जिलिंग जिले में पांच ग्रुप बनाए गए है। जो सुदूर ग्रामीण इलाकों में जाकर वहां के पंचायत प्रधान, अध्यापिकाएं सहित महिलाओं को लेकर बातचीत करते हैं। उन्हें समझाया जाता है कि वे शादी और नौकरी इत्यादि का झांसा देने वालों के चक्कर में ना आए। पुरी जांच पड़ताल करे। इसके साथ ही स्कूलों में जागरूकता अभियान चलाया जा रहा है। 1जलपाईगुड़ी हाई स्कूल, मारवाड़ी हाई स्कूल, कालियांगज गल्र्स हाई स्कूल, सिलीगुड़ी देशबंधु उच्च बालिका विद्यालय, शक्तिगढ़ बालिका विद्यालय, बाल्मिकी विद्यापीठ, एक्तिसियाल स्कूल, घुघुमाली हाई स्कूल, अठारखाई उच्च बालिका विद्यालय, इलापाल चौधरी हिंदी हाई स्कूल सहित अन्य स्कूलों में जाकर विद्यार्थियों को बताया गया है कि वे किसी प्रकार प्रलोभन में ना आए। अपने आसपास के लोगों को भी इस बारे में बताए कि इस प्रकार का गिरोह सक्रिय है।

इस मौके पर विद्यार्थियों को इस मुद्दे से जुड़ी फिल्म भी दिखाई जाती है। किस प्रकार से एक छात्र की सूझबूझ से एक लड़की की तस्करी होने से बच जाती है। हाल ही में अनुपमा खोजे नामक नाटक जक्शंन, एनजेपी, माटीगाड़ा, कोर्ट मोड़ सहित शहर के मुख्य इलाकों और सड़कों पर खेला गया। जिसमें दिखाया गया कि किस प्रकार की मीठी बातें कर फंसाया जाता है। जो इस प्रकार की बातें करे उनसे सावधान रहे। जिसमें अंकूर नाट्य गोष्ठी की सक्रिय भूमिका रही। इसके अलावा कन्याश्री योजना के बारे में भी जागरूक किया जा रहा है। जिसमें 13 से 18 वर्ष तक की कन्या इसका लाभ उठा सकती है। इसके अलावा बच्चियों को कक्षा आठ में इनरोल होना चाहिए। इस योजना के बारे में बताने का मुख्य लक्ष्य है कि इससे बाल विवाह पर रोक लगती है। बच्चियों को पढ़ने का अवसर मिलता है। इसके अलावा हर थाने में पैंपलेट बांटे गए हैं। हेल्पलाइन नंबर दिया गया है।नुक्कड़ नाटक के माध्यम से मानव तस्करी के प्रति बच्चों को जागरूक करते शक्तिवाहिनी के सदस्य।जागरण

Bring law to prevent human trafficking

mardaani01-jun24PUBLISHED IN THE HINDU

At a time when trafficking of women and children continues to be a major concern for policy makers in West Bengal, activists have launched a signature campaign highlighting the need for a legislation to curb the activities of illegal placement agencies operating in the State.

Activists cite instances of Chhattisgarh and Delhi where mechanism to regulate activities of placements firms have been introduced in recent past. Chhattishgarh, a State with significant tribal population, where migration and trafficking is common, has recently framed rules under the Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Act passed by the State Assembly.

In the Capital after the intervention of the Delhi High Court, a notification was issued in September 2014 which provides for compulsory registration of private placement agencies operating there within 30 days.

“We urge the State Government to regulate the placement agencies operating here, form a committee to verify credentials of all placement agencies, define rights of domestic workers and ban employment of children by the placement agencies,” Rishi Kant, an activist with NGO Shakti Vahini told The Hindu.

Pointing out that the campaign has been endorsed by over 4,000 people on different social networking sites, Mr. Rishi Kant said the campaign is aimed to complement schemes like Kanyashree Prakalpa, a scholarship scheme started by the State government aimed at reducing drop out of young girls.

A compilation of the signatures will be presented to the State Department of Women and Child Development, Mr. Rishi Kant said.

Vinod Kumar Tikoo, a former member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, also supported the initiative. Mr. Tikoo, who has worked in Chhattisgarh and Bengal, said that in certain rural areas of Chhattisgarh there were graffitis by a number of placement agencies.