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SC notice to Centre on plea seeking database of DNA profiles to locate missing persons

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New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre and others on a plea seeking a database of DNA profiles to locate missing persons across the country and to identify unclaimed bodies.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud issued a notice to the Centre, National Crime Records Bureau and others while seeking their replies within four weeks on a petition filed by advocate K C Jain.

The petitioner appearing in person told the apex court that the Union of India had assured in 2018 that a bill for DNA profiling to enable the maintenance of records of unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies or missing persons would be brought in Parliament.

He said the government withdrew from the Lok Sabha in July last year DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, which was aimed at regulating the use of DNA technology to identify a person.

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The bench then agreed to issue a notice in the matter.

The apex court had in 2014 issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the CBI and the secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, seeking their responses to the petition filed by an NGO.

The NGO, in its plea, said, "Since the bodies cannot be identified using traditional methods, the perpetrators of the possible crime remain untraced and the families, to which the victims belonged, never come to know about the fate of their near and dear ones." It was said that the DNA profiling of unidentified bodies can help match the missing persons and trace them.

The NGO had claimed that though the government had been considering a proposal for DNA profiling of unidentified bodies since 2007, no decision had been taken as yet. PTI PKS RHL

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