Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012 v/s 2015 Bill

Posted by Vanya Rakesh at Sep 06, 2015 02:10 PM |
This entry analyses the Human DNA Profiling Bill introduced in 2012 with the provisions of the 2015 Bill

A comparison of changes that have been introduced in the Human DNA Profiling Bill, June 2015.

  • Definitions:

1. 2012 Bill: The definition of "analytical procedure" was included under clause 2 (1) (a) and was defined as an orderly step by step procedure designed to ensure operational uniformity.

2015 Bill: This definition has been included under the Explanation under clause 22 which provides for measures to be taken by DNA Laboratory.

2. 2012 Bill: The definition of "audit" was earlier defined under clause 2 (1) (b) and was defined as an inspection used to evaluate, confirm or verify activity related to quality.

2015 Bill: This definition has been included under the Explanation under clause 22 which provides for measures to be taken by DNA Laboratory.

3. 2012 Bill: There was no definition of "bodily substance".

2015 Bill: Clause 2(1) (b) defines bodily substance to be any biological material of or from a body of the person (whether living or dead) and includes intimate/non-intimate body samples as well.

4. 2012 Bill: The definition of "calibration" was included under clause 2 (1) (d) in the previous Bill.

2015 Bill: The definition has been removed from the definition clause and has been included as an explanation under clause 22.

5. 2012 Bill: Previously "DNA Data Bank" was defined under clause 2(1)(h) as a consolidated DNA profile storage and maintenance facility, whether in computerized or other form, containing the indices as mentioned in the Bill.

2015 Bill: However, in this version, the definition has been briefed under clause 2(1) (f) to mean as a DNA Data Bank as established under clause 24.

6. 2012 Bill: Previously a "DNA Data Bank Manager" was defined clause 2(1) (i) as the person responsible for supervision, execution and maintenance of the DNA Data Bank.

2015 Bill: In the new Bill, it is defined clause 2(1) (g) as a person appointed under clause 26.

7. 2012 Bill: Under clause 2(1) (j), the definition of "DNA laboratory" was defined to be any laboratory established to perform DNA procedures.

8. 2015 Bill: Under clause 2(1) (h) "DNA laboratory" has been now defined to be any laboratory established to perform DNA profiling.

9. 2012 Bill: "DNA procedure" was defined under clause 2(1) (k) as a procedure to develop DNA profile for use in the applicable instances as specified in the Schedule.

2015 Bill: This definition has been removed from the Bill.

10. 2012 Bill: There was no definition of "DNA Profiling".

2015 Bill: DNA profiling has been defined under clause 2(1) (j) as a procedure to develop DNA profile for human identification.

11. 2012 Bill: "DNA testing" was defined under clause 2(1) (n) as the identification and evaluation of biological evidence using DNA technologies for use in the applicable instances.

2015 Bill: This definition has been removed.

12. 2012 Bill: "forensic material" was defined under clause 2(1) (o) as biological material of or from the body of a person living or dead, and representing an intimate body sample or non-intimate body sample.

2015 Bill: This definition has been included under the definition of "bodily substance" under clause 2(1) (b).

13. 2012 Bill: "intimate body sample" was defined under clause 2(1) (q).

2015 Bill: This has been removed from the definitions clause and has been included as an explanation under clause 23 which addresses sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA profiling.

14. 2012 Bill: "intimate forensic procedure" was defined under 2(1) (r).

2015 Bill: This has been removed from the definitions clause and has been included as an explanation under clause 23 which addresses sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA profiling.

15. 2012 Bill: "non-intimate body sample" was defined under clause 2(1) (v) in 2012 Bill.

2015 Bill: The definition of "non-intimate body sample" has not been included in the definitions clause and has been included as an Explanation under clause 23 which addresses sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA profiling.

16. 2012 Bill: "non-intimate forensic procedure" was defined under clause 2(1) (w) in 2012 Bill.

2015 Bill: The definition of "non-intimate forensic procedure" has not been included in the definitions clause and has been included as an Explanation under clause 23 which addresses sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA profiling.

17. 2012 Bill: "undertrial" was defined under clause 2(1) (zk) as a person against whom a criminal proceeding is pending in a court of law.

2015 Bill: The definition now states such a person against whom charges have been framed for a specified offence in a court of law under clause 2(1) (zc).

  • DNA Profiling Board:

1. 2012 Bill: Under clause 4 (a), the Bill stated that a renowned molecular biologist must be appointed as the Chairperson.

2015 Bill: Under clause 4 addressing Composition of the Board, the Bill states that the Board shall consist of a Chairperson who shall be appointed by the Central Government and must have at least fifteen years' experience in the field of biological sciences.

2. 2012 Bill: Under clause 4 (i), the Chairman of National Bioethics Committee of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India was to be included as a member under the DNA Profiling Board.

2015 Bill: This member has been removed from the composition.

3. 2012 Bill: Under clause 4 (m), the term of 1 person from the field of genetics was not mentioned in the 2012 Bill.

2015 Bill: In this Bill under clause 4 (m), it has been stated that such a person must have minimum experience of twelve years in the field.

4. 2012 Bill: The term of 2 people from the field of biological sciences was not mentioned in the 2012 Bill under clause 4 (l).

2015 Bill: Under clause 4 (l), it has been stated that such 2 people must have minimum experience of twelve years in the field.

5. The following members have been included in the 2015 Bill-

i. Chairman of National Human Rights Commission or his nominees, as an ex-officio member under clause 4 (a).

ii. Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice or his nominees (not below rank of Joint Secretary), as an ex-officio member under clause 4 (b).

6. 2012 Bill: Under clause 5, the term of the members was not uniform and varied for all members.

2015 Bill: The term of people from the field of biological sciences and the person from the field of genetics has been states to be five years from the date of their entering upon the office, and would be eligible for re-appointment for not more than 2 consecutive terms.

Also, the age of a Chairperson or a member cannot exceed seventy years.

The term of members under clauses (c), (f), (h), and (i) of clause 4 is 3 years and for others the term shall continue as long as they hold the office.

  • Chief Executive Officer:

2012 Bill: Earlier it was stated in the Bill under clause 10 (3) that such a person should be a scientist with understanding of genetics and molecular biology.

2015 Bill: The Bill states under clause 11 (3) that the CEO shall be a person possessing qualifications and experience in science or as specified under regulations. The specific experience has been removed.

A new clause- 12(5) addresses power of the Board to co-opt the number of people for attending the meetings and take part in proceedings; however such a person shall be devoid of voting rights. Also, such a person shall be entitled to specified allowances for attending the meetings.

  • Officers and Other Employees of Board:

2012 Bill: The Bill stated under clause 11 (3) that the Board may appoint consultants required to assist in the discharge of its functions on such terms and conditions as may be specified by the regulations.

2015 Bill: The 2015 Bill states under clause 12 (3) that the Board may appoint experts to assist for discharging its functions and may hold consultations with people whose rights may be affected by DNA profiling.

  • Functions of the Board:

2012 Bill: 26 functions were stated in the 2012 Bill.

2015 Bill: The number of the functions has been reduced to 22 with a few changes based on recommendations of Expert Committee.

  • Power of Board to withdraw approval:

2015 Bill: The circumstances in which the Board could withdraw its approval have not been changed from the 2012 Bill (previously under clause 16). There's an addition to the list as provided under clause 17 (1) (d) wherein the Board can also withdraw its approval in case the DNA laboratory fails to comply with any directions issued by the DNA Profiling Board or any such regulatory Authority under any other Act.

  • Obligations of DNA Laboratory:

2015 Bill: There is an addition to the list of obligations to be undertaken by a DNA laboratory under clause 19 (d). The laboratory has an additional obligation to share the DNA data prepared and maintained by it with the State DNA Data Bank and the National DNA Data Bank.

  • Qualification and experience of Head, technical and managerial staff and employees of DNA Laboratory:

2012 Bill: The previous Bill clearly mandated under clause 19 (2) the qualifications of the Head of every DNA laboratory to be a person possessing educational qualifications of Doctorate in Life Sciences from a recognised University with knowledge and understanding of the foundation of molecular genetics as applied to DNA work and such other qualifications as may be specified by regulations made by the Board.

2015 Bill: The provision has been generalized and provides under clause 20 (1) for a person to be possess the specified educational qualifications and experience.

  • Measures to be taken by DNA Laboratory:

2012 Bill: In the previous Bill, there were separate clauses with regard to security, minimization of contamination, evidence control system, validation process, analytical procedure, equipment calibration and maintenance, audits of laboratory to be followed by a DNA Laboratory.

2015 Bill: In the 2015 Bill, these measures to be adopted by DNA Laboratory have been included under one clause itself-clause 22.

  • Infrastructure and training:

2012 Bill: The specific provisions regarding infrastructure, fee, recruitment, training and installing of security system in the DNA Laboratory were present in the Bill under clauses 28-31.

2015 Bill: These provisions have been removed from the 2015 Bill.

  • Sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA profiling:

2012 Bill: Part II of the Schedule in the Bill provided for sources and manner of collection of samples for DNA Profiling.

The sources include: Tissue and skeleton remains and Already preserved body fluids and other samples.

Also, it provided for a list of the manner in which the profiling can be done:

(1) Medical Examination (2) Autopsy examination (3) Exhumation

Also, provision for collection of intimate and non-intimate body samples was provided as an Explanation.

2015 Bill: Under Clause 23, the sources include bodily substances and other sources as specified in Regulations. The other sources remain unchanged.

Also, provision for collection of intimate and non-intimate body samples is addressed in clause 23(2).

The explanation to the provision states what would be implied by the terms medical practitioner, intimate body sample, intimate forensic procedure, non-intimate body sample and non-intimate forensic procedure.

  • DNA Data Bank:

- Establishment:

2012 Bill: The Bill did not specify any location for establishment of the National DNA Data Bank.

2015 Bill: The Bill states under clause 24 (1) that the Central Government shall establish a National DNA Data Bank at Hyderabad.

-Maintenance of indices of DNA Data Bank:

2012 Bill: Apart from the DNA profiles, every DNA Data Bank shall contain the identity of the person from whose body the substances are taken in case of a profile in the offenders' index as under clause 32 (6) (a).

2015 Bill: Clause 25 (2) (a) states that the DNA Data Bank shall contain the identity for the suspects' or offenders' index.

  • DNA Data Bank Manager:

2012 Bill: The Bill States under clause 33 (1) that a DNA Data Bank Manger shall be appointed for conducting all operations of the National DNA Data Bank. The functions were not specific.

2015 Bill: The Bill states under clause 26 (1) specifically that a DNA Data Bank Manger shall be appointed for the purposes of execution, maintenance and supervision of the National DNA Data Bank.

- Qualification:

2012 Bill: In the previous Bill, it was stated under clause 33 (3) that the DNA Data Bank Manager must be a scientist with understanding of computer applications and statistics.

2015: The Bill states under clause 26 (2) that the DNA Data Bank Manager must possess educational qualification in science and any such experience as prescribed by the regulations.

  • Officers and other employees of the National DNA Data Bank:

2012 Bill: The Bill stated under clause 34 (3) that the Board may appoint consultants required to assist in the discharge of the functions of the DNA Data Banks.

2015 Bill: The Bill provides under clause 27 (3) that the Board may appoint experts required to assist in the discharge of the functions of the DNA Data Banks

  • Comparison and Communication of DNA profiles:

2015 Bill: The New Bill specifically addresses comparison and communication the DNA profiles as that in the offenders' or crime scene index under clause 28 (1). Also, there is an additional provision under clause 29 (3) which states that the National DNA Data Bank Manger may communicate a DNA profile through Central Bureau of Investigation on request of a court, tribunal, law enforcement agency or DNA laboratory to the Government of a foreign State, an international organization or institution of Government.

  • Use of DNA profiles and DNA samples and records:

2012 Bill: The Bill provided under clause 39 that all DNA profiles, samples and records would be used solely for purpose of facilitating identification of perpetrator of an offence as listed under the Schedule. The proviso to this provision addressed the fact that such samples could be used to identify victims of accidents or disaster or missing persons, or any purpose of civil dispute.

2015 Bill: The Bill restricts the use of all DNA profiles, samples and records solely for purpose of facilitating identification of a person under the Act under clause 32.

  • DNA Profiling Board Fund:

2012 Bill: The Bill stated under clause 47 (2) that the financial power for the application of monies of the Fund shall be delegated to the Board in such manner as may be prescribed and as may be specified by the regulations made by the Board.

Also, the Bill stated that the Fund shall be applied for meeting remuneration requirements to be paid to the consultants under clause 47 (3) (c).

2015 Bill: This provision has not been included in the Bill. Also, the Bill does not include the provision of paying the remuneration to the experts from the Fund.

  • Delegation of Powers:

2012 Bill: The Bill provided under clause 61 that The Board may delegate its powers and functions to the Chairperson or any other Member or officer of the Board subject to such conditions, if necessary.

2015 Bill: This provision has not been included in the 2015 Bill.

  • Powers of Board to make rules:

2012 Bill: The Bill provided for an exhaustive list consisting of 33 powers listed under clause 65.

2015 Bill: The Bill provides for a list of 27 powers of the Board under clause 57.

  • Schedule:

2012 Bill: In the list of offense where human DNA profiling would be applicable, there was an inclusion of any law as may be specified by the regulations made by the Board.

2015 Bill: This provision has been removed from the 2015 Bill.

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