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Bill to expand use of DNA-based forensic technology

New Delhi, July 4: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that seeks to expand use of DNA-based forensic technology to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country, said an official. The Cabinet approved the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018, which provides for mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories. An official release said the utility of DNA-based technologies in solving crimes and identify missing persons is well recognised across the world.

“By providing for the mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories, the Bill seeks to ensure that there is assurance that the DNA test results are reliable and the data is protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights,” the release said. It said that the bill has provisions to enable cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country and for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.

Forensic DNA profiling is of proven value in solving offences related to human body such as murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt, besides theft, burglary and dacoity. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Report 2016, aggregate incidence of such crimes in the country is in excess of three lakh per year. The release said that currently, only a very small proportion of these crimes are subjected to DNA testing. “It is expected that the expanded use of this technology in these categories of cases would result not only in speedier justice delivery but also in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30 per cent,” it added. (IANS)

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