|Use of DNA Data
||Under the Bill, DNA testing is permitted only in respect of matters mentioned in the Schedule to the Bill. These include offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and for civil matters such as paternity suits. The Schedule further includes DNA testing for matters related to establishment of individual identity.
|Collection of DNA
||While preparing a DNA profile, bodily substances of persons may be collected by the investigating authorities. Authorities are required to obtain consent for collection in certain situations. For arrested persons, authorities are required to get written consent if the offence carries a punishment of up to seven years. If the offence carries more than seven years of imprisonment or death, consent is not required. Further, if the person is a victim, or a minor or disabled person, or relative of a missing person, the authorities are required to obtain the written consent of such victim, relative, parent, or guardian of the minor or disabled person. If consent is not given in these cases, the authorities can approach a Magistrate who may order the taking of bodily substances of such persons.
|DNA Data Bank
The Bill provides for the establishment of a
DNA laboratories are required to share DNA data prepared by them with the National and Regional DNA Data Banks. Every Data Bank will be required to maintain indices for the following categories of data:
- Regional DNA Data Banks for every state.
- National DNA Data Bank
- a missing persons’ index,
- a crime scene index,
- an offenders’ index,
- a suspects’ or undertrials’ index,
- an unknown deceased persons’ index.
Removal of DNA profiles
||The Bill defines that the criteria for entry, removal or retention of the DNA profile will be specified by regulations. However, the Bill provides for removal of the DNA profiles of the following persons:
- of a suspect if a police report is filed/lodged or court order given,
- of an undertrial if a court order is given,
- on written request, for persons who are not a suspect, undertrial or offender, from the crime scene or missing persons’ index.
|DNA Regulatory Board
The Bill provides for the establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board, which will run the DNA Data Banks and DNA laboratories. The Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, will be the ex-officio Chairperson of the Board. The Board will comprise additional members including:
- professionals in the field of biological sciences,
- Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Director General of the National Investigation Agency.
|Functions of the Board
||The functions of the Board include:
Further, the Board is required to ensure that all information relating to DNA profiles with the laboratories, Data Banks, and other persons are kept confidential.
- advising governments on all issues related to establishing DNA laboratories or Data Banks,
- granting certification to DNA laboratories.
||Any laboratory undertaking DNA testing is required to obtain accreditation from the Board. The Board may annul the accreditation for reasons including, failure to:
If the accreditation is annulled, an appeal will lie before the central government or any other authority is informed by the central government. Further, every DNA laboratory is required to follow standards for quality assurance in the analysis and storing of DNA samples. After depositing the DNA profile for criminal cases, the laboratory is required to return the biological sample to the investigating officer. In all other cases, the sample must be destroyed.
- undertake DNA testing, or comply with the conditions attached to the accreditation
||The Bill specifies penalties for various offences, including:
For example, disclosure of DNA information will be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fine of up to one lakh rupees.
- using DNA sample without authorization.
- for disclosure of DNA information,