KARACHI - The Sindh government has approved Rs260 million for a fully equipped DNA laboratory at the University of Karachi, which would be functional shortly, Supreme Court was informed on Saturday.

At Karachi Registry, Justice Faisal Arab chaired a high level meeting, which was attended by the Sindh home secretary, provincial prosecutor general and other higher officials.

The Sindh government submitted a report to the meeting regarding establishment of DNA facilities in the province. According to the report, pragmatic steps have been initiated for a fully equipped DNA lab in collaboration with the International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences (ICCBs), University of Karachi.

The Sindh government approved Rs260 million for this facility, of which Rs220 million have been released. It referred to an order of the apex court which sought the process of establishment of DNA test laboratory to be pursued at a fast pace.

The provincial government in this report claimed that funds had been placed at the disposal of the Health Department for its transfer to ICCBs for procurement of all required equipments and disclosed that ICCBs at the University of Karachi have already been notified as government laboratory for forensic DNA, serology, food and biological sample tests as stopgap arrangement.

Report revealed that the Sindh Health Department had already declared Toxicology/Molecular Biology Lab, Department of Forensic Medicine and Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro as certified government laboratories for DNA test.

The primary area of operation of this laboratory is Sindh province as well as it covers Balochistan. At present, 66 percent of cases are received from Karachi division and the rest from other parts of Sindh and Balochistan.

The DNA facility at Jamshoro provided details of 758 DNA cases, which referred to it, including Safoora bus attack, serial child rapist arrested in 2008 and Sehwan bomb paternity testing for human identification.