The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change on October 18, 2019. The Committee invited comments on the Bill till November 18, 2019 and Takshashila Institution made a submission. Shambhavi Naik was subsequently invited to present her views on the Bill to the Standing committee on 27th of November.
Shambhavi spoke about the various strengths and weaknesses of the Bill and highlighted the application of DNA fingerprinting technology in various forensic contexts. The DNA databank can be used for two outcomes – identifying deceased remains and repeat offenders. She argued that due to poor capacity and lack of societal awareness of the technology, the implementation of the Bill be staggered. Such a staggering would involve its first application to those contexts in which a DNA databank is most effective – identifying deceased remains, followed by heinous crimes.
Takshashila’s submission to the Standing Committee can only be made public after the Standing Committee’s report is published. For more on the DNA Technology Bill from Takshashila Institution:
DNA Technology Bill: Why the Standing Committee Has Its Work Cut Out – Shambhavi Naik and Murali Neelakantan
Caution on DNA Bill: raise awareness first – Shambhavi Naik
DNA Bill is designed to fail – Shambhavi Naik