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Report No. 271

Chapter VIII

Recommendations

8.1 The draft of "The Use and Regulation of DNA-based Technology in Civil and Criminal Proceedings, Identification of Missing Persons and Human Remains Bill, 2016", which was forwarded to the Law Commission of India by the Department of Biotechnology, has been thoroughly examined by the Commission. The Commission has taken into consideration the various aspects of DNA profiling and the absence of an appropriate regulatory mechanism for the use, retention and expunction of body substances, DNA samples and DNA profiles. The draft Bill has been substantially modified and a new draft Bill titled "The DNA-Based Technology (Use and Regulation) Bill, 2017" has been prepared and is annexed to this Report as Annexure - II.

8.2 The salient features of the recommendations are as below:

(a) DNA Profiling Board - A statutory body:

A DNA Profiling Board be constituted, which would undertake functions such as laying down procedures and standards to establish DNA laboratories and granting accreditation to such laboratories; and advising the concerned Ministries / Departments of the Central and State Governments on issues relating to DNA laboratories.

The Board shall also be responsible to supervise, monitor, inspect and assess the laboratories. The Board will frame guidelines for training of the Police and other investigating agencies dealing with DNA related matters. Advising on all ethical and human rights issues relating to DNA testing in consonance with international guidelines will be another function of the Board. It will recommend research and development activities in DNA testing and related issues, etc.

(b) DNA profiling would be undertaken exclusively for identification of a person and would not be used to extract any other information.

(c) DNA Data Bank: There shall be a National DNA Data Bank, and Regional DNA Data Banks for the States, to be established by the Central Government. The Data Banks will be responsible for storing DNA profiles received from the accredited laboratories and maintaining certain indices for various categories of data, like crime scene index, suspects' index, offenders' index, missing persons' index and unknown deceased persons' index.

(d) With a view to assist the kith and kin of missing persons, provisions have been made for proper identification of missing persons on the basis of their bodily samples/substances.

(e) Appropriate regulations may be notified by the Board for entry, retention and expunction of DNA profiles.

(f) Maintenance of strict confidentiality with regard to keeping of records of DNA profiles and their use.

(g) Sharing of DNA profiles with and by foreign Government or Government organisation or Government institutions or any of its agencies, for the purpose of this Act.

(h) The violators of the provisions would be liable for punishment of imprisonment, which may extend up to three years and also fine which may extend up to Rs.2 lakhs.

(i) The undertrial may request the trial court for another DNA testing if s/he satisfies the court that the previous DNA sample(s)/bodily substance(s) stood contaminated and hence could not be relied upon.

(j) The DNA experts may be specified as Government Scientific Experts and be notified as such under clause (g) of sub-section (4) of section 293 of Cr. P.C.

8.3 The draft Bill is prepared to fulfill the very objective of human DNA profiling by DNA laboratories which will be under statutory obligations to follow stringent standards, quality control and quality assurances. This will promote the establishment of uniform practices to be followed in all the laboratories involved in DNA profiling. The proposed legislation will promote the scientific upgradation and streamlining of DNA profiling activities in the country. The Commission has put in its efforts to ensure that the provisions in the draft Bill are in conformity with the constitutional provisions.



Human DNA Profiling - A Draft Bill for the Use and regulation of DNA-based Technology Back




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