KARACHI: While the Sindh Assembly through a law passed last month made the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test mandatory in rape cases, an accounts officer posted at the office of a senior superintendent of police informed a sessions court on Thursday that they had no budget for DNA testing.
At a previous hearing, additional district and sessions judge (Malir) Shafi Mohammed Pirzada observed that DNA was a very important piece of evidence in the cases of rape and unnatural offences and directed investigating officers in over 10 such cases for DNA test of victims after the suspects approached the court with bail applications.
However, the court issued a show-cause notice to the accountant posted at the office of the SSP (investigation) east zone II after one of the IOs told the court that the cost for DNA in each case was Rs30,000 and he had submitted an application for DNA test to the accounts office, but the same was not approved yet.
When the cases came up for hearing before the sessions court on Thursday, account officer Mohammed Aslam turned up and submitted that they could only entertain the applications involving an amount up to Rs10,000 after the approval of the SSP. The cases in which the amount exceeded Rs10,000 were sent to high-ups, he added.
The accountant further said that they had no budget for DNA analysis, adding that if an IO provided copies of a receipt which was received for the DNA test and charge sheet of the case, then the DNA bills were sent to the Accountant General of Sindh for approval.
It may be recalled that the Sindh Assembly on Feb 2 had made DNA test in rape cases mandatory by adopting a bill titled the Code of Criminal Procedure (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2017 to facilitate investigation and ensure dispensation of justice to rape victims.
According to the bill, the DNA sample shall be collected from the rape victim within 72 hours from the time of the incident for testing through government-recognised laboratories.
Moreover, the parliament through amendments made in the Pakistan Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Qanoon-i-Shahadat in October last year had also made the DNA test in rape cases mandatory after the consent of victim’s legal and natural guardian.
Policeman’s remand extended
A judicial magistrate extended on Thursday the physical remand of a policeman for one day in a case pertaining to a gun attack on a passenger coach.
Naseer Shah has been booked for allegedly opening fire on a coach in Nazimabad on March 27 that left three passengers wounded.
After the end of his three-day physical remand, the investigating officer produced the suspect again before the court.
The judge came down heavily on the IO when he, in the remand papers, sought 10-day extension in physical remand of the suspect and on the other hand prepared a so-called jail warrant.
A case was registered against the policeman under Section 324 (attempted murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the coach driver at the Nazimabad police station.
Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2017