The Sindh government has settled to release Rs220 million to the University of Karachi so that a first forensic lab can be established at KU’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) to conduct proper forensic DNA testing and analysis.
The Sindh government is also under a strict commitment to establish its own forensic sciences lab in pursuance of the orders of the apex judiciary to grumble and bring up to date the criminal investigation, prosecution and justice system of the province.
Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah made the decision to construct the province’s first forensic science and investigation lab. The meeting was held in the wake of the deaths of two small brothers on November 11 reportedly due to food poisoning after dining at a DHA restaurant.
Sindh lacks a forensic laboratory of its own, the food and other samples were dispatched to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency in Lahore to help the police investigation.
The CS was briefed on the existing DNA testing and analysis as well as related research facilities at KU and Jamshoro’s Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences (Lumhs).
The obtainable DNA testing and research facilities of KU and Lumhs so they can be used for forensic analysis. For the purpose the CS ordered the release of Rs220 million to KU in the next two days in pursuance of an accord signed between the health department and the ICCBS.
The police officials and public hospitals’ medico-legal officers will be trained for proper collection, handling and preservation of samples for forensic investigation, and that the training will be conducted under the aid of experts from KU and Lumhs.
The government will fund a forensic DNA and serology analysis and training facility as part of the criminal justice system. The facility can be established at the Jamil-ur-Rahman Centre for Genome Research, which comes under the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research of the ICCBS.
Funds had been owed and segregation of land conducted to set up the forensic laboratory in District Malir within 30 months.The proposed lab will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery to conduct forensic analysis as well as have the stipulation of being upgraded and expanded to further refurbish it.