The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4, 2018 approved The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018.
The main objective behind the enactment of the bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.
The use of DNA based technologies for solving crimes and to identify missing persons is well recognised across the world.
• The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill provides for mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories.
• Through this, it seeks to ensure that with the proposed expanded use of this technology in the country, there is also the assurance that the DNA test results are reliable and the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of the country’s citizens.
• The bill also seeks to ensure speedier justice delivery and increased conviction rate.
• The bill’s provisions will enable cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on the other.
• It will help in establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.
• Forensic DNA profiling is of proven value in solving cases involving offences that are categorised as affecting the human body such as murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt and those against property including theft, burglary and dacoity.
• The aggregate incidence of such crimes in the country, as per the statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2016, is over 3 lakh per year.
• Among these, only a very small proportion is being subjected to DNA testing at present.
• It is expected that the expanded use of the technology in these categories of cases would not only result in speedier justice delivery but also in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30 per cent, as per NCRB Statistics for 2016.
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