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

On the 23rd of February, the streets of northeast witnessed the bloodshed and destruction where Hindus and Muslims lived peacefully together. The that killed 53 people who were shot, slashed or even set on fire.

The Delhi on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi government and the Forensic Science Laboratory, for not testing the samples taken from the charred body of a youth found alongside a car following the riots in North East Delhi on February 26. (Sajid Ali vs Govt of NCT of Delhi & Anr.)

Sajid Ali, in his petition, claimed that his son, Mohsin Ali, had left their shop in Noida’s Sector 5, on February 25 towards Green Gardens on Khajuri Pushta Road, around 5 p.m. in the evening and has not returned since then. The family members after filing the missing complaint were informed by the police personnel that a car of their description has been burnt on Khajuri Pushta Road. Later, they were informed by the police that a burnt body was found next to the car.

Mohsin Ali
Image: Mohsin Ali who went missing on 25th February

The police informed the family members that since the body is in a charred condition and no conclusive identification is possible without a DNA , the body could be handed over only after confirming its identity through a DNA profiling and identification . DNA samples from him and his wife were taken on March 3 to establish if the deceased was indeed his son. However, testing on the DNA samples was not done for over two weeks on the frivolous ground that permission of a court was needed.

The petition stated that it has been almost 22 days since Mohsin went missing and it has been more than 14 days since the DNA samples were sent for examination and results. The delay caused by the Forensic Laboratory is contributing to agony and duress of the family, the plea said.

On March 18, Justice Navin Chawla recorded that the counsel for the respondents had submitted that the Delhi government and the FSL were awaiting orders from the court regarding DNA testing and when asked if there was the provision in the law requiring such a direction, the counsel said that there was no such provision.

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

On this regard, the court held that “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 from any court.”

Justice Navin Chawla ordered the government to complete the test within 15 days and to communicate the result with the petitioner, whose 20-year-old son went missing on February 25 during the riots.

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