DNA Regulatory Board Current Affairs - 2020
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The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan.
Features of the Bill
The bill aims to allow the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons, including victims, offenders and missing persons. The features of the bill are:
- The Bill regulates the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of persons in respect of matters listed in a Schedule which include criminal matters (such as offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860), and civil matters such as parentage disputes, emigration or immigration, and transplantation of human organs.
- The Bill seeks to establish a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks.
- As per the provisions of the bill, every Data Bank is required to maintain the following indices: (i) crime scene index, (ii) suspects’ or undertrials’ index, (iii) offenders’ index, (iv) missing persons’ index, and (v) unknown deceased persons’ index.
- The Bill establishes a DNA Regulatory Board to accredit the DNA laboratories that analyse DNA samples to establish the identity of an individual.
- It is mandatory to get written consent by individuals to collect DNA samples from them. The consent is not required for offences with the punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment or death.
- The Bill provides for the removal of DNA profiles of suspects on the filing of a police report or court order. The DNA profiles of undertrials can be removed on the basis of a court order. Profiles in the crime scene and missing person’s index will be removed on a written request.
The members of the house citing privacy concerns requested for referring the bill to the standing committee of the Parliament.