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

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A (Re)look at the Proposed DNA Regulatory Board

A law that allows deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiling and databasing of people is in the making in India. It was introduced as the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha by the minister for science and technology on 8 July 2019. The bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, which is presently examining it. This bill has been criticised by privacy activists and civil libertarians as another Aadhaar in the making. The bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the collection, storage and use of an individual’s most sensitive private information, that is, their genetic/DNA data. The purported purpose, as stated in the long title of the bill, is to use such data

for the purposes of establishing the identity of certain categories of persons including the victims, offenders, suspects, under­trials, mis­sing persons and unknown deceased persons.

The bill contains provisions to regulate both private and public laboratories (existing and to be) established for testing and analysis of DNA by providing for their accreditation. It also provides for establishment of national and regional DNA data banks to store and maintain DNA profiles. The bill contains an easily expandable list of cases/purposes for which DNA can be used to identify the persons.

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Updated On : 16th Jan, 2021

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