ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Arguments against the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015

D(o) N(ot) A(nalyse) My DNA

With its latest endeavour to collect mass DNA data, the government spreads its net far too wide and falls short of constitutional rights to liberty and privacy.

Introduction

With the central government playing fast and loose with the contours of the right to privacy in the Aadhaar case,1 alarm bells have been set off about the implications of the government’s stand in the context of other laws and measures that have a bearing on the fundamental freedoms of citizens. Prominent among these is the draft Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 (“the bill”), which the government had intended to but did not table in the monsoon session of Parliament. The bill seeks to create national and regional DNA data banks that will contain the individual DNA profiles of the categories of persons specified in the bill, such as offenders, suspects, missing persons, unknown deceased persons, volunteers2 and such other indices that may be specified by the DNA Profiling Board (“the board”), which has oversight over these banks. The bill is intended to strengthen the administration of criminal justice; however, a combination of loosely worded provisions and the vesting of sweeping, unchecked powers in the board has raised concerns that the data might be misused.

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