Dr Harsh Vardhan
Minister for Science and Technology
The bill proposes for the regulation on DNA technology for identification of person like victims, suspects, offenders etc., with an aim to improve judicial delivery system for criminal and civil cases.
Salient Points ()
The bill seeks to regulate the usage of DNA technology for establishing the identity of:
- Under trails
- Missing person
- Deceased persons
The bill regulates DNA testing laboratories:
- By providing lab accreditation
- Establishing a national and regional database
- Maintaining DNA profiles
- Regulatory body for governance
DNA testing is allowed only in matters listed in schedule:
- Criminal Offences
- Offences under special act like - trafficking, termination of pregnancy, sex selection, domestic violence, civil rights violation, motor vehicle act, injurious crime against SC/ST
- Civil matters like parental discrepancies, assisted reproductive technologies (ART), transplantation, immigration,
- Medical negligence cases, identification of human remains, abandoned children
No consent required for the DNA profile of a person for the offence:
- Imprisoned for more than 7 years
- Death penalty
Background Basics ()
Analysis of DNA has become a major form of evidence in trials, especially in criminal cases.
The use of DNA technology can help the case to fast track and conclusive. This bill is required for cases which are dependent on scientific evidence and criminal cases.
The cases like rape, DNA analysis can be extremely helpful for fetching justice.
Draft Bill was formulated for regulation of DNA samples for crime related reasons.
Department of Biotechnology established a committee known as the DNA Profiling Advisory Committee to make recommendations for the drafting of the DNA profiling bill
- A draft bill was prepared by the Department of Biotechnology along with the Union Government for DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics.
- A human DNA profiling was made public but was not introduced in parliament.
- The draft was highly criticized for non privacy of data.
Expert committee was formulated by Department of Biotechnology to finalize the text of the bill.
The government planned to table the bill in parliament but due to its wide criticism over privacy, but the draft was shelfed.
The bill was introduced for civil and criminal cases, missing person cases , but it was highly criticized by activists and experts.
A draft bill was prepared by Law Commission of India for examining judicial provisions like investigation of crime, human remains, identification of human etc but, the commission also raised concerned for privacy issue.
The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha, The bill was referred to standing committee to review.
The report of standing committee extended up to winter session of 2020.
Bill introduced in Lok Sabha.
Bill referred to standing committee.
Standing committee report extended till Apr2020.
Standing committee report extended till monsoon session.
Standing committee report extended till winter session 2020.
WHY (as per the govt)
Salient Points ()
The bill will improve the justice delivery system.
It will help in criminal cases through biological evidence: semen evidence in rape cases, blood evidence in murder cases, saliva evidence in threat letter cases
In civil cases: Investigating victims of disasters like cyclone, air crash etc
WHY NOT (as per opposition)
Salient Points ()
Needs regulation for misuse of DNA analysis
DNA not required in civil cases. Fingerprints are enough
Huge security threat if it lacks surveillance
DNA sample to be destroyed immediately after analysis. There is no need to store for the future. It can be misused.
Globally DNA is collected only in serious cases and not in all cases
First needs strict laws to protect the privacy and personal data
DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA). Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. The DNA of a person is unique, and variation in the sequence of DNA can be used to match individuals and identify them2.
Each individual DNA is unique
Variation in the sequence of DNA can be used to match individuals and identify them
DNA can be taken from saliva, hair, blood, bones, semen and other organs of the body.
INTERNATIONAL DNA LAWS
- 60+ countries have legalised the use of DNA to investigate criminal cases
- The United States, Canada, Britain, China, Argentina
- DNA profiling allowed only in serious criminal cases.
- Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria