The home ministry has already procured 3,120 SAECK and distributed those in different states and UTs.
New Delhi: The Union home ministry, in an attempt to improve investigations into cases of rape and sexual assault, has distributed more than 3,100 special kits for collecting blood and semen samples in addition to other evidence in different states and Union Territories (UT).
These sexual assault evidence collection kits (SAECK) or rape investigation kits have been specially designed to conduct instant medico-legal investigation and gather crucial evidence in such cases. The home ministry has already procured 3,120 SAECK and distributed those in different states and UTs.
These specialised kits primarily comprise of essential items that will help collect evidence like blood and semen samples in sexual assault and rape cases, which in turn would help the prosecution build a foolproof case against the accused in terms of concrete evidence.
Ministry officials said that these kits would help law enforcement agencies to ensure effective investigation in a timely manner and help increase prosecution and conviction rates in cases of sexual assault.
Police and medical officers are being trained on how to use the kits in the event of any such case taking place in their area of jurisdiction. So far, 2,575 investigators; 1,648 prosecutors; and 927 doctors from various states and UTs have been trained for systematic collection of evidence and as master trainers.
These kits were procured with financial support under the Central government’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund,’ which was named after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim.
States will gradually procure additional SAECKs as per requirement. There are around 15,640 police stations in 29 states and seven UTs in the country.
Incidents of crime against women rose from 3,29,243 in 2015 to 3,38,954 in 2016. In 2015, as many as 34,651 cases of rape were registered in the country.
According to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau, the figure increased to 38,947 in 2016. Data for 2017 and 2018 is yet to be published.
The Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFSS) under the home ministry has issued two guidelines — one for investigators and prosecutors for collection, storage, and transportation of forensic evidence in sexual assault cases while the second for medical officers dealing with sexual assault cases.
The Delhi-based Lok Narayan Jai Prakash National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (LNJP NICFS) is undertaking the training of medical officers from states and UTs on medico-legal procedures, including evidence collection and handling of forensic material in sexual assault cases.