Women’s panel wants forensic lab in every dist

West Bengal Women Commission in its recommendations to the state government on the issue of tackling rape cases will be calling for setting up of forensic laboratories in every district hospital for speedy forensic test of rape victims.

Members of the commission feel that due to delay in conducting the medical tests, rape cases are often not probed properly.

The recommendations will be submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee next week.

Sunanda Mukherjee, chairperson of the commission, said till now only nine medical colleges in West Bengal have forensic laboratory, and if an incident of rape is reported in a district, it takes around 48 hours for the laboratory to begin tests. "So, in many cases, the swab becomes dry and it's difficult to examine. As a result, many test reports do not provide any conclusive evidence of rape," she said.

In West Bengal, there are nine medical colleges and 15 district hospitals, and till now no district hospitals has the facility to set up the forensic laboratory.

Dr Asit Biswas, spokesperson of the state health department, said since district hospitals lack infrastructure, so we have decided to first improve the infrastructure so that forensic labs could be set up here.

The commission has also recommended that fast-track courts should be set up for speedy disposal of rape cases. "I have received around 40 complaints this year where the rape cases are still pending due to slow judicial process," she said.

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