Forensic science laboratories are scarce and there is a severe dearth of forensic and cyber experts in police departments in all states. Reliable medico-legal services are not available to the investigating officer. As a result, police lean heavily on oral evidence, instead of concentrating on scientific and circumstantial evidence.

The chargesheet, a critical document for prosecution, is normally prepared by a ‘Writer’ at the police station, who is always overworked. The Station House Officer, who is supposed to carefully scrutinise the chargesheet, rarely has the time to do so. Thus, chargesheets and arrest memos without the photographs and identification marks of accused, not to speak of witnesses, are a common sight.

In any case, investigations are mostly handled at the level of head constables and assistant sub-inspectors. Because there are not enough inspectors and sub-inspectors to carry out investigations. As a former Commissioner of Mumbai Police reminded us on these pages (