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Posted at: May 14, 2018, 1:43 AM; last updated: May 14, 2018, 1:43 AM (IST)

Govt readies draft Bill on DNA data bank

Govt readies draft Bill on DNA data bank
The draft Bill also states that all DNA data, including DNA profiles, DNA samples and records, will only be used for identification of the person and not for ''any other purpose''. Thinkstock

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13

The Ministry of Law & Justice is giving final touches to a draft Bill on DNA technology, which is aimed at creating DNA data banks both at the national and state level to store profiles and those who leak the information stored in such facilities will be punished with a jail term of up to three years.

It mentions that the DNA data, including DNA profiles, DNA samples and records, will be used only for identification of the person and not for “any other purpose”.

Sources in the ministry, while sharing details of the proposed legislation, said, the draft Bill was being prepared on the basis of a law commission report that was submitted recently.

It says national and regional DNA data banks will be set up for maintaining a national database for identification of victims, accused, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.

The Department of Biotechnology was also consulted by the law panel before finalising its report. “The Law Ministry is now finalising the official draft before it goes to the Union Cabinet for final approval,” a senior official said. The proposed law has a provision that those who leak the DNA profile information to people or entities not entitled to have it “will be punished with a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh”, he said.

Similar punishment is also prescribed for those who seek information on DNA profiles illegally. 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 was likely to be brought in the forthcoming session of Parliament.

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