Govt to setup National Forensic Sciences University with ₹2,254 crore outlay

  • Government plans to create an NFSU in each state and Union territory to educate as many as 9,000 students.

Manas Pimpalkhare
Published19 Jun 2024, 10:51 PM IST
The purpose of this infrastructure is to professionally undertake investigations against criminals so that offences are prosecuted and perpetrators are brought to justice.
The purpose of this infrastructure is to professionally undertake investigations against criminals so that offences are prosecuted and perpetrators are brought to justice.

The Union government at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday has cleared the outlay of 2,254 crore to build National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) across the country on Wednesday in alignment with the government's policy to overhaul the criminal justice system with three new laws that will be enforced from 1 July.

The three new criminal laws, which contain some new provisions related to forensic evidence, will replace British-era statutes when they come into force.

The government plans to create an NFSU in 28 states and all Union territories to provide education to as many as 9,000 students, Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a press conference.

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The cabinet decided today that states and Union territories will have an NFSU in the form of an off-campus laboratory, Vaishnaw said. The purpose of this infrastructure is to professionally undertake investigations against criminals so that offences are prosecuted and perpetrators are brought to justice.

The cabinet outlay comes only a week after law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal assumed office for his second stint, and said that the three new criminal laws—the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Act—will be without facing any issues or obstacles. The government has held various symposiums and training programmes for all stakeholders to prepare for the enforcement of these laws, Meghwal told reporters a week ago.

The law minister, in his first media interaction after taking charge, also pointed out that the creation of the new educational institutes for forensic sciences were a part of the government's plan of action to implement the new criminal laws, which were passed by Parliament in late 2023.

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The government's outlay towards capacity building in forensic sciences is meant for the implementation of the provisions of the new criminal laws. For instance, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, which will replace the Code of Criminal Procedure, mandates the presence of a forensics expert during the investigation of a crime scene in all offences punishable by imprisonment of seven years or more. This new policy is starkly different from the existing norms of forensic science in criminal investigations, as per a study by Project 39A of the National Law University, Delhi. Currently, different states employ different practices of forensic investigation, the study said.

The need for an educational institute dedicated to forensic sciences was envisaged by prime minister Narendra Modi when he was chief minister of Gujarat, Vaishnaw said in the press conference.

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First Published:19 Jun 2024, 10:51 PM IST
HomeEconomyGovt to setup National Forensic Sciences University with ₹2,254 crore outlay

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