In Today’s News:
- DNA Technology Draft Bill,2019.
1. DNA Technology Draft Bill,2019
A draft report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology has flagged the misuse of DNA Bill which proposes for sampling and profiling of citizens accused of a crime or reported missing and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes could be misused for caste or community-based profiling. The report also flagged concerns regarding individual privacy and safeguards and other provisions of the bill.
(Disclaimer: These points in News Summary are not the points of the Argutes website. These are the points specified in the Draft Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee)
Mains GS2 – Polity/Governance
DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019(Key Highlights):
- DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Harsh Vardhan, on July 8, 2019.
- The Bill provides the regulation of the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons.
- The Central Government may by notification, establish for the purposes of this Act, a Board to be called the DNA Regulatory Board.
- The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Biotechnology shall be the ex Officio Chairperson of the DNA Regulatory board;
- The Bill provides the Sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA testing.
- The Bill also has provisions regarding Accreditation and Obligations of DNA laboratory.
- DNA testing can be done only for the matters listed in the Schedule of the Bill.
- Section 21 of the Bill provides for the Consent for taking bodily substances to be taken from a person arrested:
- (1) No bodily substances shall be taken from a person who is arrested for an offence (other than the specified offences) unless the consent is given in writing for the taking of the bodily substances.
- Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, “specified offences” means any offence punishable with death or imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years.
- (2) If the consent required under subsection (1) for taking of bodily substances from a person is refused or cannot be obtained, the person investigating the case may make an application to the Magistrate having jurisdiction for obtaining bodily substances from the arrested person.
- (3) The Magistrate may if he is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the bodily substances may confirm or disprove whether the person so arrested were involved in committing the offence, order for taking of bodily substances from such person.
- The Central Government shall, by notification, establish a National DNA Data Bank and such a number of Regional DNA Data Banks for every State, or two or more States, as it may deem necessary.
- Every DNA Data Bank shall maintain the following indices for various categories of data, namely:—
- (a) a crime scene index;
- (b) a suspects’ index or undertrials’ index;
- (c) an offenders’ index;
- (d) a missing persons’ index; and
- (e) unknown deceased persons’ index
- The Bill also provides for the retention and removal of records from the DNA Data Bank.
- All DNA data, including DNA profiles, DNA samples, and records thereof, contained in any DNA laboratory and DNA Data Bank shall be used only for the purposes of facilitating the identification of the person and not for any other purpose.
- The Bill also has provisions for offences and penalties for illegal use of DNA information.
- The Bill also provides for a DNA Regulatory board fund.
- Apart from this, there are several other provisions in the Bill.
Click here for more information on DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019
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