Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015: Salient Features

DNA is made up of sequence of nucleotides and this sequence is different for each individual. Each sequence acts like a code that determines the characteristics of particular individual. Therefore, an individual’s DNA profile created by recording the sequence of nucleotides is unique. There is only one in trillion possibilities that two individuals could have same DNA profiles. This is very important in forensic science because DNA of an individual could be collected from an individual’s sputum, blood and even from a single strand of hair. So if a crime’s suspect DNA is found to be match with DNA present at crime scene than it could be inferred that suspect was present at scene of crime.

Human DNA Profiling Bill

The idea of a Human DNA profiling bill was mooted first by previous NDA Government in 2003. Since then, it has been discussed in various parliamentary committees but has not seen the light of the day. In 2015, it has been once again proposed by the current NDA government.

Salient Features of the bill

  • The bill proposes to allow collection of samples from private parts of human body for DNA profiling and data preservation with the approval of a regulatory body.
  • It suggests that a National DNA Profiling Board and a National DNA Bankbe set up in Hyderabad, with every state having a regional DNA data bank. The DNA Data Bank would maintain records of samples found at crime scenes, or from suspects, offenders, missing persons, volunteers, etc.
  • The bill also makes it clear that no DNA Laboratory shall undertake DNA profiling without the prior approval of the DNA Board.
  • If a foreign country requests DNA profiling, the DNA Bank will coordinate through CBI or a concerned department.
  • The bill mandates that the DNA profiles or samples be kept confidential, and they should be used only for establishing identity of a person and nothing else.
  • Government investigation agencies and judiciary, among others, can seek information from Data Banks. For unauthorized use of data, a stringent punishment is provided.
    • Admissible in court
    • Bill legalizes collection and analysis of the DNA samples for Repeat offenders, suspects, missing persons, unknown deceased persons, volunteers for forensic purposes.
  • CrPC had been amended in 2005 to allow collection of such data- DNA profiling

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