Union Cabinet Approves DNA Technology Bill – All You Need to Know About the Law in Making

Law is organic. It is ever-evolving. Its most difficult challenge, however, is to evolve as quickly as the changes being embraced by the society. It is indeed a tough task considering the breakneck speed at which we are advancing. Arguably, the biggest fear facing society today is the probable inability of law to keep pace with advancement in technology.

We cannot govern what the law has not envisaged. And, what is ungoverned can very likely cause anarchy and disruption, to say the least.

However, technology, while being a worthy adversary to law, is also an indispensable ally. With ingenious criminals harnessing a devilish kind of creativity these days, it is technology which makes it possible to even detect crimes in the first place, leave alone nabbing the culprits.

Thus, the Union Cabinet’s approval of the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 granted today comes as a welcome and much-needed reprieve. This Bill, in essence, is aimed towards expanding the scope of application of DNA-based forensic technologies in order to assist the justice delivery system in India. No one can disagree about the usefulness of such technology in bringing crimes home to criminals, providing relief to victims and their families and serving justice to the society at large.

This Bill provides for mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories ensuring the reliability of test results and protection of data from misuse or abuse.

Thus, this Bill hopes to achieve an expedited delivery of justice and a heightened rate of conviction. The comprehensiveness and ambit of the Bill will enable cross matching of DNA samples so as to reconcile cases of missing persons with the discoveries of unidentified bodies all across the country in the hope of establishing identity of victims.

Similarly, in cases of crimes that are committed against the human body, such as violent crimes like murder, rape, causing grievous hurt, or physical contact crimes like kidnapping, trafficking, abduction, etc. as well as crimes against property where the culprit might leave behind some imprint of himself (like burglary, theft, etc.) can now be solved easily with Forensic DNA profiling that is part and package of this Bill.

Presently, only a small percentage of such cases go through the process of DNA testing. However, with the expanded use of this technology envisaged in the Bill, criminals of India need to beware!