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Delhi Riots: DNA testing of dead bodies to be carried out without waiting for orders: Delhi HC

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has directed the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini to to carry out DNA testing of unidentified dead bodies after looking into the urgency of each case, without waiting for orders from the Court. (Sajid Ali vs Govt of NCT of Delhi & Anr)

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla in connection with the riots that broke out Delhi's north-east area last month.

The Petitioner’s son had been missing since February 25. Subsequently, a body was recovered on February 27 in a burnt state and was apprehended to be that of the Petitioner's son.

To confirm the identity, DNA samples were taken from the body as well as the family member of the Petitioner on March 3.

The Petitioner, thereafter, did not hear from the authorities.

It was the Petitioner's concern that in case the DNA turned out to be negative, the delay in further investigation would make tracing his missing son even more difficult.

The counsel on behalf of the Labratory and Delhi Government informed the court that they were awaiting specific orders from the Court to carry out the DNA testing.

It was further stated that it was only in the case of a direction from a Court that priority was granted to such cases.

On being asked, it was conceded by the Respondents that there was no provision in law which required it to take directions from the Court for testing.

The Forensic Laboratory Authorities then stated that it would start the DNA testing today itself and the results would require minimum fifteen days.

In view of the above, the Court disposed of the petition with a direction to the Forensic Labratory to expedite the DNA matching test, positively with a period of fifteen days.

It further took note of the submission that delay in testing was only for want of orders from Court and said,

"As there is no such provision of law shown requiring orders from Court, such delay cannot be countenanced."

The Court thus ordered,

“The Respondents must, therefore, looking into the urgency of each case, carryout such testing without waiting for any order form any court.”

Earlier this month, the Court had directed for preservation of DNA samples of all unidentified dead bodies.

The Petitioner was represented by Advocates Sonakshi and Ritesh Dhar Dubey.

Respondents were represented by Additiona Standing Counsel (Civil), Delhi Govt, Naushad Ahmed Khan.

Read the Order:

Sajid_Ali_v_Govt_WP_C_2912_2020.pdf
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