The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, fails on all three Puttaswamy threshold tests and violates the fundamental right to privacy, according to (Retd.) Justice B.N. Srikrishna, a former judge of the Supreme Court. “In my general assessment, prima facie, the Bill fails on all three Puttaswamy threshold tests. It thus violates the fundamental right to privacy guaranteed under Art.21 as interpreted by Puttaswamy,” Justice Srikrishna said in his comments to the Parliamentary Committee on the DNA Technology Regulation Bill, led by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh. It's worth noting that Justice Srikrishna headed a Committee that drafted the first iteration of India's proposed privacy law — the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. The Jairam Ramesh Committee submitted its report (see our summary) on the DNA Technology Regulation Bill in February. The Bill, which has been in the making for years now, aims to establish laboratories and DNA data banks to scale the use of DNA profiles in the criminal justice system. Among the core tenets of the Bill are the creation of data banks that will house the DNA profiles of not just convicts, but also undertrials, suspects, missing people, and of samples gathered from crime scenes. The bill proposes the setting up of a DNA Regulatory Board — an evidently government-heavy body — to oversee operations, standardise labs, ensure ethics around privacy and civil liberties, among other functions. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Standing Committee of Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate…
DNA Technology Regulation Bill prima facie violates fundamental right to privacy: Justice Srikrishna
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