Justice Sandeep Bhatt of the Gujarat High Court strongly criticised state Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department, Mukesh Puri, for his role in delaying submission of forensic reports by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). The court also sought his explanation in the matter.
The ACS failed to attend a meeting along with the Director General of Police and Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) as directed by the HC that irked the court. It was hearing a petition filed by Ajay Prajapati about FSL’s three-year delay in giving a handwriting expert’s report to the Chandkheda police.
Prajapati is an accused in a case filed by Mukesh Gurjar in 2020 regarding grabbing of the latter’s property by forging his signatures. Gurjar’s counsel Vishrut Jani had drawn the attention of the court to the fact that the FSL had not submitted a report for three years and hence the FIR (against Prajapati) should not be quashed.
The court had then asked top officials to take the issue seriously and hold a meeting to prioritise resolving such issues as the proceedings were getting delayed due to the non-availability of the FSL report.
However, the court found that the ACS had not attended the meeting. The court said the ACS was not above the law and noted that the approach of Puri was delaying the decision-making process to resolve the problem.
“This court also fails to understand the audacity shown by such officers in not complying with the order in the true spirit of the letter. Let the Additional Chief Secretary Mr Mukesh Puri give his explanation in detail why he has not complied with the direction of the court.”
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