Government to set up DNA databanks at national, state level
DNA databanks will be set up at national and state levels to store DNA profiles, and those who leak the information stored in such facilities will be punished with an upto three years' jail term or upto Rs. 1L fine, according to a draft bill on DNA technology being finalized by Law Ministry. The bank will store information like DNA profiles, samples, and records.
DNA profiles will be used for identification purposes
The information will only be used for identification of victims, accused, suspects, under-trials, missing persons, and unidentified human remains and not for "any other purpose", the proposed bill said. The Department of Biotechnology was consulted by the law panel to draft the bill. The Law Ministry is now finalizing the official draft before it goes to Union Cabinet for final approval.
DNA profiling enables maintenance of records of unclaimed dead bodies
The government had recently informed the Supreme Court that a bill for DNA profiling to enable maintenance of records of unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies or missing persons, is likely to be brought in the upcoming session of Parliament. A bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the government should take steps as expeditiously as possible.
PIL was filed by an NGO
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO stating that India did not have a national DNA database to address the issue of thousands of unclaimed dead bodies that are reported annually. It had suggested maintaining of DNA profiles of the bodies before their disposal which could help in their identification by the family members.Share this timeline