New Bill Proposes Collection of Samples From Private Parts for DNA Profiling

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New Bill Proposes Collection of Samples From Private Parts for DNA Profiling

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Hyderababd:  The Union Government has proposed to allow collection of samples from private parts of human body for DNA profiling and data preservation with the approval of a regulatory body, as per the draft Human DNA Profiling Bill.

The bill has been uploaded on the website of the Department of Biotechnology for feedback from stake-holders.

It suggests that a National DNA Profiling Board and a National DNA Bank be set up in Hyderabad, with every state having a regional DNA data bank.

"Any intimate body samples from living persons shall be collected, and intimate forensic procedures shall be performed by a medical practitioner. Intimate body samples mean a sample of blood, semen or any other tissue, fluid, urine or pubic hair; or a swab taken from a person's body orifice other than mouth; or skin or tissue from an internal organ or body part taken from a person living or dead," the draft bill says.

Intimate forensic procedure means "procedures conducted on living individual such as external examination of genitals or anal area," the bill says, adding that methods such as vacuum suction, scraping or "lifting by tape" would be employed for collection of tissue.

The DNA Data Bank would maintain records of samples found at crime scenes, or from suspects, offenders, missing persons, volunteers, etc. The bill also makes it clear that no DNA Laboratory shall undertake DNA profiling without the prior approval of the DNA Board.

If a foreign country requests DNA profiling, the DNA Bank will coordinate through CBI or a concerned department.

The draft bill mandates that the DNA profiles or samples be kept confidential, and they should be used only for establishing identity of a person and nothing else.

Government investigation agencies and judiciary, among others, can seek information from Data Banks. For unauthorized use of data, a stringent punishment is provided.

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