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Posted at: Jan 9, 2019, 6:39 AM; last updated: Jan 9, 2019, 6:53 AM (IST)

Bill regulating DNA tech use to identify criminals okayed

Bill regulating DNA tech use to identify criminals okayed
File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 8

A Bill that provides for regulation of use and application of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain categories of persons, including offenders, victims, suspects and undertrials, was passed in Lok Sabha today.

The Bill was introduced by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan in the Lower House, even as the Congress expressed concern over privacy issues and demanded that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee for further scrutiny.

Congress’ Shashi Tharoor said “a government which wants to dictate what we should eat and not eat, who to love and not love also wants to control our DNA….This is a matter of concern”.

According to the minister, the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018, would ensure that laboratories for DNA profiling are accredited and regulated and DNA data bank is set up. Issues of privacy, confidentiality and data protection have been minutely addressed in this legislation, he said.

The Bill regulates the use the technology to establish the identity of persons in respect of criminal matters listed and civil matters such as parentage disputes, emigration or immigration, and transplantation of human organs. Once the Bill becomes a law, it will help in the criminal justice system, finding the families of missing children and other purposes, he added.

Regarding concerns of members on its misuse, he said misuse could happen at any level. Even blood sample collected by clinical laboratories had the potential of misuse.

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