Department of Forensic Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi Calls for Implementation of One-Stop Sexual Assault Examination Centres With DNA Testing Facilities Across India
Date: 17-07-2019 3:45PM
Source: Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs
Category: General, Consumer Interest, Govt. & Public Policy, Law & Justice, Social Issues, Information Technology, Healthcare & Biotechnology, Technology
Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Business Wire India
|Left to Right: Sidharth Pandey, Dr. Sahajpal, Dr. Sudhir Gupta, Mr. Tim Schellberg, Dr. Deepa Verma, Dr. Harish Pathak, Ms. Arneeta Vasudeva at the live debate on Role of Forensic DNA Technology in Expediting Justice and Fighting Crime|
In a symposium on the ‘Role of Forensic DNA Technology in Expediting Justice and Fighting Crime, held at India International Centre today, an expert panel led by the forensic department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, called for country-wide implementation of one-stop sexual assault examination, care, and research centres enabled with state-of-the-art DNA collection and testing facilities.
Dr Sudhir K Gupta, Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi said, “The lack of proper facilities at hospitals has a direct correlation with the quality of DNA evidence collected. The results for the vaginal swabs and semen samples can be analysed quickly to help catch the culprit but currently 80-90% samples do not yield viable results either because they are not collected and sealed properly, or because they are stored at an unsuitable temperature. There is a dire need for educating and training first-line responders on proper collection & handling of DNA samples while at the same time creating dedicated infrastructure to attend to rape survivors.”
Even though 40,000 cases of rape have been reported in India every year, post-trauma care that survivors get at authorised hospitals remains poor. Presently, government hospitals just provide a room in the existing gynaecological emergency with no dedicated forensic staff and even send them off to the regular OPD (out-patient department) which can take days.
Dr Deepa Verma, Director, Delhi FSL said, “Creation of one-stop sexual assault examination and care centres is a step in the right direction. In any case pertaining to sexual assault or rape at known or unknown sites, forensic evidence needs to be preserved at all costs and handled with care. We have noticed a steady rise in demand for DNA testing and are increasing our capacity to assist investigators. We are planning to constitute specialised trained crime scene examination teams to ensure quick retrieval of forensic evidence while ensuring proper collection and preservation.”
Along with AIIMS, other premier medical institutions like KEM Hospital, Mumbai, have also recently taken steps towards setting up dedicated units for examination, testing, and post-trauma care for rape survivors with facilities for physical check-up, treatment of injuries, forensic tests, DNA profiling, and psychiatric counselling—all under one roof. Once operational, the AIIMS centre is expected to take on the role of a nodal agency for setting up similar units in other parts of the country.
Dr Harish Pathak, Head of Forensics, KEM Hospital, Mumbai said, “We get over 200 cases of sexual abuse every year but lacked a dedicated space for counselling, medical examination and stay for survivors. Hence, we have constructed a dedicated one-stop centre with special counselling suite where department of forensic medicine along with experts from gynaecology and psychiatry collectively gather history, counsel, conduct medicolegal examination, and collect evidences to prepare combined reports for investigation agencies. We always lay special emphasis on collection of relevant biological samples for DNA analysis wherever and whenever scientifically appropriate as to ensure all precautions and measures are taken for maintaining and documenting chain of custody and sanctity is evidence in such cases.”
Tim Schellberg, Founder & President, Gordon Thomas Honeywell—GA noted, “India is adequately aware of the power of DNA. In the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape trial, the prosecution built an airtight case based on the DNA of the accused found at the crime scene. In such cases, samples should be collected, tested and compared to known suspects immediately. Without an aggressive DNA program, violent criminals and sexual predators will continue to escape punishment; conviction rates will remain low; and justice will elude victims.”
As per recent estimates, the number of DNA profiles developed from crime scene evidence has doubled over a year from 10,000 cases tested in 2017 to nearly 20,000 this year1. Despite an uptick in the number of profiles being tested, the volume remains low considering that nearly more than 4 cases of rape are registered every hour1. Official statistics show a dramatic increase in the number of crimes against women, which have increased more than 80% over 10 years, with only one in 4 rape cases resulting in conviction.
Forensic DNA has emerged as the most reliable crime-fighting technology the world over. Many countries are effectively using forensic labs and protocols to collect, test and compare DNA at crime scenes with that of suspects with promising results. Where law machinery world over is increasingly relying on DNA forensics to solve crime, the pace in India has been slow. Lack of scientific methods in investigations and absence of a proper policy framework in the country continue to hamper justice.
1 GTH-GA EstimatesAbout 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.
More Press Releases
INSA Releases Joint Industry Guidance on the Supply and Use of 0.50 Percent - Sulphur Marine Fuel
Medica Associates With Tom Cherian’s SALi to Create ‘Centre for Liver Disease’
Mafatlal Industries Ltd Launches Mohinee Range for Women
Worldwide Achievers Felicitated the Winners of Business Leaders’ Summit & Awards 2019
WPP Foundation Wins Multiple Accolades at Asia's Best CSR Practices Awards, Singapore 2019
BTI Payments Receives Rs. 1500 Mn of Equity Funding to Expand Its Operations
WNS Named a 'Leader' by NelsonHall for Advanced Analytics BPS
Corporate Social Responsibility Related News Releases and Story Ideas for Reporters, Bloggers and Media Outlets
Olymp Trade Introduces a Better Way to Trade With Forex Platform in India
Now Medical Practitioners Can Avail Loan for Doctors by Bajaj Finserv
Vidyashilp Academy Holds 5K RUN “RUN FOR A CAUSE, A RUN BY THE COMMUNITY” - for Underprivileged Students
Mori Building Unveils Massive Urban Regeneration Project in Central Tokyo
Cummins President and COO Rich Freeland Retiring
Absolutdata Listed as a Representative Vendor in Recent Gartner Market Guide Report
MSME Banking Index: An Initiative to Understand & Improvise Level of MSME Banking in India
The All-New BMW 3 Series: Built for Thrill. Driven by Tech
The Sequel to Square Yards' Mega Real Estate Fest, 'Azadi Tour' Is Back, and It’s Bigger and Better
Myomo Announces Technology Licensing Program for International Markets
Bespoke events curated with passion by FB Celebrations Pvt. Ltd
Bajaj Finserv Lifecare Finance Offers More Than 200 Treatments on Easy EMIs to Support Your Wellness Journey
Dell Technologies in Partnership With NITI Aayog Launches Student Internship Program to Nurture Young Minds
Yuvraj Singh Tells You How to Be a New Age Baazigar!
New Zealand’s Status as Preferred Education Destination for Indian Students Reinforced Through Academic Conclave
Planning on Purchasing a Pre-Owned Car - Avail Personal Loan for Used Cars From Bajaj Finserv
SRJNA Group Announces Rebrand to Tinkerly
GreyOrange Hires Jeff Cashman as SVP and Global COO
New CAPZero-3 X-Capacitor Discharge ICs from Power Integrations Meet IEC60335
Limelight Networks Expands Developer Toolkit With New API and Portal Enhancements
DXC Technology and Google Cloud Announce Global Partnership to Drive Innovation for Enterprises at Scale
Andersen Global Enters Zimbabwe
AnitaB.org Welcomes New Executives to Achieve Ambitious Goal of 50/50 Tech Equity by 2025