DNA Bill can be misused: Draft report
Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – Legialations; GS-III – Science and Technology
- A draft report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology has flagged the DNA bill.
- Headed by: Jairam Ramesh
- The report is yet to be finalized.
- According to the Committee:
- The bill could be misused for caste or community-based profiling.
- DNA profiles can reveal extremely sensitive information of an individual such as pedigree, skin colour, health status and susceptibility to diseases.
- Disregard to an individual’s privacy and other safeguards is another concern.
- Consenting provision can be easily overridden by a magistrate, thereby, making consent perfunctory (no real effort).
- No guidance in the Bill as to when the magistrate can override consent.
Important value additions
- It proposes DNA sampling and profiling of Indian citizens accused of crime or reported missing.
- It shall store their unique genetic information for administrative purposes.
- Nearly 60 countries have enacted similar legislation, with the U.S. bringing in a law in 1994.