Three labs started in Punjab have facility of testing samples of poppy husk only

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has expressed its dissatisfaction that the three forensic laboratories, started by Punjab government recently, had facility of testing the samples of poppy husk only and not other substances. The government has been directed to file a response in this regard by December 10.

The Punjab government on Tuesday had informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court bench that three more forensic laboratories, at Amritsar, Bathinda and Ludhiana, had been made functional.

The additional advocate general Punjab told the single-judge bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal that the laboratories were made functional on November 30, adding that Rs. 4.80 lakh had been earmarked for the rent of three buildings at Amritsar, Bathinda and Ludhiana and Rs. 71.55 lakh were spent on the purchase of equipment, furniture, chemicals etc. The high court was also informed that these labs had the facility of testing poppy husk samples only.

The HC bench was hearing suo motu proceedings of a case, monitoring the establishment of more forensic laboratories in Punjab. The state has the Forensic Science Laboratory at Mohali and the Chemical Examiner Laboratory at Kharar. In August, the government had informed the bench that there was pendency of more than 3,000 samples in state labs of NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) cases.

As per provisions of the NDPS Act, forensic science laboratories have to analyse samples within 15 days. But in Punjab, the sample analysis is taking several months in some cases.

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