Indian Penal Code Current Affairs - 2019
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India has abstained from voting on United Nation General Assembly (UNGA’s) resolution aimed at examining options to end trade in goods which are used for capital punishment and torture. India stated that it is unacceptable to place death penalty on par with torture that it firmly believe that freedom from torture is a human right which must be respected and protected under all circumstances.
UN General Assembly adopted resolution on- Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards. The resolution was adopted by 193 member assembly with a recorded vote of 81 in favour, 20 against, and 44 abstentions.
Arguments by India
India argued that incorporating capital punishment into scope of this resolution raised concerns about making an attempt to place it on par with torture.
India stressed that the country remains firmly committed to prevent torture and other such punishment (like cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment).
India stated that where capital punishment is statutorily provided for, due process of law is followed.
It warned the assembly against current resolution, that it may even start a duplicative parallel process related to goods being used for torture and capital punishment and that it will further create ambiguity by conflating different issues.
In India, capital punishment is a statutory provision, but at the same time it is used in rarest of rare cases. Also, acts of torture are punishable in India under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Indian judiciary system serves as a bulwark against any such violations of human rights.
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.
Tags: crime scene index • DNA Regulatory Board • DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018 • Harsh Vardhan • Indian Penal Code • Lok Sabha • Minister of Science and Technology • missing persons’ index • National DNA Data Bank • offenders’ index • Regional DNA Data Bank • suspects’ or undertrials’ index • unknown deceased persons’ index.