Sunday, 8 July 2018

DNA Technology Regulation Bill, 2018 | Source: PIB, Economic Times

Why in news?

Cabinet has approved the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill,

What are the key provisions?

  • The Bill provides for the mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories.
  • It seeks to ensure that the DNA test results are reliable.
  • It also ensures that the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of citizens.

The Bill's provisions will enable the cross-matching between

i. persons who have been reported missing
ii. unidentified dead bodies
iii. victims in mass disasters

  • The government will set up DNA data banks across India to store profiles.
  • It imposes jail term of up to 3 years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh on those who leak the information stored in such facilities.
  • These banks will maintain a national database for identification of victims accused, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.

The Bill creates a DNA Profiling Board that would be the final authority to -

i. authorise the creation of State-level DNA databanks
ii. approve the methods of collection
iii. analyse DNA-technologies

What is the objective?

  • Forensic DNA profiling helps in offences categorized as affecting the human body and those against property.
  • It includes murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt and theft, burglary, dacoity.
  • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) put the number of such crimes in excess of 3 lakhs per year.
  • Of these, only a very small proportion is being subjected to DNA testing at present.
  • The primary purpose of the Bill is thus to expand the application of DNA based forensic technologies.
  • The expanded use of DNA technology in these cases would result in speedier justice delivery.
  • It could also help in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30%.
Source: PIB, Economic Times


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