~By Sankalan Pal
The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, which is pending before the Government, if passed, shall be introduced as a new legislation. A number of objectives have been manifested as to why this bill should be passed. The Act shall be implemented for the setting up regulations of use and application of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) in order to make accurate identifications of certain categories of persons. Such persons include a) victims b) offenders c) suspects d) missing persons e) unknown missing persons f) parents of unidentified children etc.
DNA technology is still in its nascent stage in its application and use. DNA based forensic technologies shall improve justice system by leading to speedy delivery of justice. There will be an upward rise in the conviction rate as DNA technology will be used for investigation of crimes, since in many cases, there is acquittal due to lack of evidences. DNA evidences are authentic in nature, which will be useful for identification of victims in mass disasters and natural calamities. Cross matching between dead bodies and missing persons can easily find a solution with the help of the modern technology. The reliability of DNA technology is such that even the courts of law will be satisfied with such evidences, and subsequently, will solve the cases with much ease.
In simple words, DNA is a part of a chromosome, present in a human being, carrying genetic information. Each individual has a different DNA, which can be distinguished from the others. With the introduction of the Act, there shall be an increase in the number of DNA Labs. The Act shall have the introduction of DNA Regulatory Board, which will be an important authority as any DNA Lab, before being established, shall have to apply to the Board, and shall be allowed to operate only after an approval from the Board. The Board shall also be empowered to grant accreditation to Labs and suspend or revoke such accreditations too. The Act shall have an inventory of DNA databanks too. A DNA technology shall have to follow the prescribed standards and procedures for quality assurances, prepare such DNA results as required. A number of Acts where DNA testing shall be useful is IPC, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, to name a few. The Act also guarantees that best practices shall be undertaken for the purpose of protecting the right to privacy of the citizens, keeping in mind the international guidelines listed by the United Nations organisations and its special agencies. Chapter 8 of the Act prescribes different penalties for the purpose of proper check and functioning of the DNA Labs.
—India Legal Bureau