Several Document Examinations Pending In Maharashtra, Handwriting Expert Post Continue To Remain Vacant

Mumbai, 21st March 2023: There are only 25 experts in Maharashtra to submit handwriting reports required for conviction in fraud and other similar criminal cases. Over the past few years, as many as seven and a half thousand documents are awaiting examination. There are 40 posts of handwriting experts in the state, of which 15 are vacant. These employees say that at least 35 more handwriting experts are required, and only after that can reports be sent on time.

Recently, a proposal for the appointment of 11 handwriting experts has been sent to the government court. As it is also pending, the work of this department is going on slowly. In all the other states, handwriting experts come under the jurisdiction of the Forensic Medicine Department.

The employees feel they are neglected. There are only five document examiners for Mumbai, 11 for Pune (the whole of Konkan, Western Maharashtra region), two for Nagpur-Vidarbha and five for Aurangabad (Marathwada).

Even in the recruitment drive launched by the government, the department has not benefited from new handwriting experts. In 2017, the High Court had written a demand to the then head of the State Crime Investigation Department that 16 document examiners should transfer the department to the Forensic Department like other states as the State Crime Investigation Department was not providing the necessary resources. However, their demand was rejected, and action was taken to withhold a one-year salary increment for these 16 examiners. Although this action was withdrawn over time, the required staff was not provided to this department. Staff felt this section was being neglected despite its importance for criminal convictions.