Chetan Chauhan reports:
The union cabinet next week is likely consider a bill to create national DNA database of all those in conflict with law including suspects and volunteers which the critics term as against the “basic tenements of the Constitution”.
The bill that aims to provide legal backing to use of DNA in criminal and civil suits and was first envisaged by the last NDA government in 2003-04 is slated for introduction in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The UPA government had gone slow on the bill to address civil society concerns regarding infringement of privacy and the intention of the proposed law to provide overwhelming powers to authorities for collecting DNA samples of anyone linked with cognizable crime. The UPA governemnt in 2012 constituted a committee under Delhi High Court judge A P Shah to suggest a framework for the Right to Privacy law in view of DNA Profiling Bill of 2007 and introduction of bio-metric based Aadhaar number for each resident.
While the AP Shah committee did not negate the law for DNA Profiling, it propopsed a strong right to privacy law to protect citizen rights before such a legislation comes into force. The government appears to be have put the privacy law in deep freeze as Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi told the Supreme Court that privacy was not guaranteed in the Constitution and asked the court to constitute nine member bench to examine the disputed question of law and the Constitution provisions.
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