Finger print bureaux don’t have enough men

Finger prints might have landed many criminals behind bars but around half of the posts in central and state bureaux dealing with such expert jobs lie vacant.

According to statistics, 896 (47.18 per cent) out of the 1,899 posts sanctioned in the central and state finger print bureaux remain vacant.

At the central bureau, only 35 people are working while the sanctioned strength is 114. There is only one Sub Inspector in place of 42 sanctioned in the central bureau while there are only 16 Inspectors in place of 32 needed.

The situation is worst in Tamil Nadu where the state unit has just 47 officials in place of a sanctioned strength of 309 while Delhi has an excess of three officers — 75 in place of 72 sanctioned.

Maharashtra (203 in place of 307), Karnataka (113 in place of 201) and Kerala (84 in place of 106) have better record.

Apart from the central bureau, there are 29 finger print bureaux functioning in states and union territories. The Central Finger Print Bureau (CFPB), which functions under the NCRB, maintains the fingerprint records of arrested or convicted inter-state and international criminals.

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Number of fingerprint slips of convicted persons in state bureaux

Punjab — 5,79,491

Uttar Pradesh — 4,61,115

Maharashtra — 3,02,687

Madhya Pradesh — 1,71,813

Tamil Nadu — 1,67,113

Gujarat — 1,55,261

Haryana — 1,27,189

Kerala — 1,06,485

Delhi — 1,02,786

Karnataka — 28,164

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A senior official said finger print experts provide a huge fillip to the detection of criminals and the vacancies in bureaux would hamper the probe.

“Fingerprint provides the most reliable and infallible scientific clue, which not only identifies a person but also, excludes him from the rest of the world. For more than over a century, finger print science is still one of the most important tools used by various investigating and law enforcing agencies across the globe,” said the ‘Finger Print in India -2015’ released recently.

“Many a times, it is established, when all other leads fail, it is the fraction of a finger impression recovered from the scene of crime that helps link the crime to the criminal,” the report prepared by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Sep 12, 2016)

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