The Union Cabinet has approved a bill that allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples, create “DNA profiles” and special databanks for forensic-criminal investigations. It will be introduced in parliament during the Monsoon Session beginning July 18. The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018, is the latest version of a bill that originated as a DNA “profiling” Bill, framed by the Department of Biotechnology under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. The bill is meant to "expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country." The announcement further makes assurances that the DNA test results are "reliable" and the data remain "protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of our citizens." The bill will enable cross-matching the DNA of a missing person or an unidentified body with that of their family members and also to establish the identity of victims of mass disasters. In May, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court disposed of a PIL filed by the Lokniti Foundation to address the issue of thousands of unclaimed dead bodies reported annually, and for the maintenance of DNA profiles of the dead bodies, before their disposal, to aid in their identification by family members. At the time, the bench was also informed that a Human DNA Profiling Bill had been amended in accordance with the Aadhaar scheme. The aim of the original draft legislation was to institute a mechanism to collect and…
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