The National forensic sciences university Bill which was introduced on 23rd March,2020 by State for Home Union minister, G. K. Reddy, in the Lok sabha has appeared as a beacon of hope for all the members of forensic fraternity as well as forensic aspirants. The bill seeks to upgrade and provide national importance to the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic sciences, New Delhi, as national forensic sciences universities. The university headquarter will be at Gandhinagar. Besides being an educational institution, they will also be a centre for research with modern amenities and will act as affiliating universities. This will attract talent in field of forensic and in-turn promote forensic as an emerging and advance area in today’s India.
Focusing on the objective of this bill,we can see that it includes promoting and consolidating education in the field of forensic along with applied behavioral science, law and other applied disciplinary, which will result into a more structured and strong criminal justice institution in India. The second major objective of this bill includes the development and maintenance of national forensic database. This database will include DNA, voice, firearms, counterfeiting currency, drugs and fingerprints related data that will support the central and state government along with investigating agencies in criminal investigation. This bill provides a platform for advance research and training in forensics in conjunction with criminology, applied behavioral science and law and aims to setup a centre of excellence with modern facilities. The university will also focus on establishing research laboratories, affiliate colleges and schools and will define the scope of prescribed courses, examinations and will grant degrees and academic distinctions. This bill repeals the 2008 Act, under which Gujarat Forensic Sciences University was established.
The bill defines the ‘campus’ of the university to include the campus of both Gujarat Forensic Sciences University and LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science. The university will also provide opportunities of long distance or online courses, to make it more accessible for every forensic student. All the status provided to GFSU and LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, will automatically be transferred to the national forensic science university, these includes “the centre of Excellence”, “centre of Excellence for Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances” and “ Institute of strategic and security related interest”.
The authority of the university will comprise of the chancellor, board of governors, court, academic council, board of affiliation and finance committee. Among these, the Chancellor and the Vice-chancellor will be appointed by the central government with the advise of the state government and will act as the Head of the University. All the academic and non academic staffs of these institutions will continue to hold their office till their natural tenure and will not be effected by this bill in any manner. The board of governors encompass of the Vice-Chancellor, who will be the chairman of the board, financial adviser, one representative each from the Home department and Ministry of Home affairs, Registrar General, Chief forensic officer and five persons who are experts in the field forensics. It will frame the first statutes of the university. The board of governors will be responsible for policy making, direction, superintendence and review other section’s work. The present registrar of GFSU will be appointed as the executive registrar of the National Forensic Sciences University.
The fund maintained by the university will be regulated by the recommendations of the Finance Committee. The main contributors to this fund includes amount granted by central and state government, fees collected, donations, grants and other sources. The university accounts will be audited by Comptroller and Auditor-general of India. The annual financial estimation is 94.30 crore rupees, out of which 40.00 crore is considered as non-recurring expenditure and 54.30 crore is considered to be recurring expenditure. These expenditure is expected to be met by consolidated fund of India and internal revenues of the University.
With the aim to create capacity and capability of international standards, the university will introduce semester system, credit base system, exchange programme, off-shore educational centre, collaborative and government special projects and instructional material with software for specially able students. This university will be considered a central university under the Central Educational Institutions Act, 2006 and will be open to all national and international students without any basis of discrimination. While the students and researchers will be transferred to the National forensic science university at the same level and will than continue their course.
TRIBUNAL OF ARBITRATION:
There will be a Tribunal of Arbitration for dissolving issues regarding contracts between the employee and the university or related to disciplinary action against students. The Right to Information Act,2005, will be applicable on the university. The statutes prepared will have the details regarding the procedure of tribunal of arbitration.
The criminal justice includes the wide spectrum of processes by which criminal investigation, identification and proceedings are carried out. The importance of forensic science in the prevention of its recidivism, has been identified by the government. Though, augmentation of different forensic laboratory and facilities have been done in several states but the complete implementation of these on the ground level is still not achieved. The reduce this gap and fulfill the demand of large numbers of trained experts with good research works, the government has proposed this National Forensic Sciences University Bill. This will increase the manpower of forensic which will reduce not only increase the rate of solving crimes but will also ensure the reduction in chances of an innocent being punished. The database and modern facilities will increase the accuracy of crime investigation and will also reduce the number of criminal cases both cyber and inhuman, that are found compiled in different courts of India. This bill when completely administrated will strengthen our criminal justice system and will help India move towards a crime free society.