Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
1) To enact the DNA bill in its present form, therefore, would only add a new, menacing weapon to the state’s rapidly expanding surveillance mechanism. Examine.(250 words)
Why this question
The DNA bill which has been in the dock for since a long time, after being cleared by the cabinet has reached the parliament now and has reignited the debate regarding several issues posed by the provisions of the bill. It is important to discuss how the bill will expand the surveillance powers of the state and whether proper checks and mechanisms have been put in place to prevent the abuse of the provisions of the bill.
Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep and look carefully into the provisions of the draft DNA bill which has been tabled in the Parliament recently. It wants us to bring out the reasons as to how the bill in its present form will only enhance the surveillance powers of the state.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the draft DNA bill. E.g The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018, is the latest version of a Bill that originated as a DNA “profiling” Bill, framed by the Department of Biotechnology. The aim of that draft legislation was to set in place an institutional mechanism to collect and deploy DNA technologies to identify persons based on samples collected from crime scenes or for identifying missing persons.
Discuss in detail about the provisions of the bill which reiterate the fact that the bill will only add to the surveillance powers of the state without bringing any significant reforms in the criminal justice system in India. E.g It not only disregards the serious ethical dilemmas that are attendant to the creation of a national DNA database, but also, contrary to established wisdom, virtually treats DNA as infallible, and as a solution to the many problems that ail the criminal justice system; The proposed law, however, is not only decidedly vague on how it intends to maintain this DNA Bank, but it also conflates its objectives by allowing the collection of DNA evidence not only in aid of criminal investigations but also to aid the determination of civil disputes; Moreover, while consent is not required before bodily substances are drawn from a person accused and arrested for an offence punishable with either death or imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years, in all other cases a person refusing to part with genetic material can be compelled to do so if a Magistrate has reasonable cause to believe that such evidence would help establish a person’s guilt. Therefore, there’s no end to the state’s power in coercing a person to part with her DNA; the Bill potentially allows DNA evidence to be used for any other purpose that may be specified through subsequent regulations, thereby according to the state a potential power to create a “genetic panopticon,” etc.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.