DNA profiling bill likely to come up before Cabinet

DNA profiling bill likely to come up before Cabinet

FILE PHOTO: A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute to Reuters on May 15, 2012. REUTERS/National Human Genome Research Institute/Handout/File Photo

The DNA Technology Regulation Bill, which seeks to control the use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of a person, is likely to come up before the Cabinet on Monday.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in January but lapsed as it could not be cleared in the Rajya Sabha due to lack of support from the opposition.

Following the clearance from the Cabinet, the bill is likely to be reintroduced in Parliament for passage.

The legislation seeks to establish a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks.

The bill envisages that every data bank will maintain indices like the crime scene index, suspects' or undertrials' index, offenders' index, missing persons' index and unknown deceased persons' index.

The legislation also seeks to establish a DNA Regulatory Board. Every laboratory that analyses DNA samples to establish the identity of an individual, has to be accredited by the board.

Under the bill, a written consent by individuals is required to collect DNA samples from them. Consent is not required for offences with the punishment of more than seven years of imprisonment or death.

It also provides for the removal of DNA profiles of suspects on the filing of a police report or court order, and of undertrials on the basis of a court order. Profiles in the crime scene and missing persons' index will be removed on a written request.

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