Verma, S.K., Goswami G.K. (2014). Forensic Sci Intl, 241, 183–189.

DNA evidence: Current perspective and future challenges in India

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Sunil K. Vermaa, Gajendra K. Goswamib

a CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India
b Central Bureau of Investigation Academy, Kamla Nehru Nagar, Hapur Road, Gaziabad, 201 002, India

Highlights

  • DNA fingerprinting has extensively been used in the court room for civil as well as criminal adjudication worldwide.
  • DNA evidence may be used only as corroborative evidence and not as a conclusive proof especially in criminal cases.
  • Indian courts are relying on DNA evidence both in civil and criminal matters but there is no legal regime on DNA profiling.
  • Since half a decade, India is attempting to legislate on DNA profiling; the bill is awaiting placement in the Parliament.
  • This article reviews the consequences of admissibility of DNA as ‘evidence’ in the judicial dominion in India.

Abstract

Since the discovery of DNA fingerprinting technology in 1985 it has been used extensively as evidence in the court of law world-wide to establish the individual identity both in civil and criminal matters. In India, the first case of parentage dispute solved by the use of DNA fingerprinting technology was in 1989. Since then till date, the DNA technology has been used not only to resolve the cases of paternity and maternity disputes, but also for the establishment of individual identity in various criminal cases and for wildlife forensic identification. Since last half a decade, India is exercising to enact legislation on the use of DNA in the judicial realm and the draft ‘Human DNA Bill-2012’ is pending in the parliament. Largely, the promoters of forensic DNA testing have anticipated that DNA tests are nearly infallible and DNA technology could be the greatest single advance step in search for truth, conviction of the perpetrator, and acquittal of the innocent. The current article provides a comprehensive review on the status of DNA testing in India and elucidates the consequences of the admissibility of DNA as ‘evidence’ in the judicial dominion. In this backdrop of civil and criminal laws and changing ethical and societal attitudes, it is concluded that the DNA legislation in India and world-wide needs to be designed with utmost care.

Keywords

Forensic DNA testing in India; DNA evidence; DNA fingerprinting; DNA legislation; DNA Bill (India) 2012; DNA profiles

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DNA evidence: Current perspective and future challenges in India.

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DOI 10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.05.016

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Verma, S.K., Goswami G.K. (2014). DNA evidence: Current perspective and future challenges in India. Forensic Science International, 241, 183–189.

Short Citation Verma, S.K., Goswami G.K. (2014). Forensic Sci Intl, 241, 183–189.
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Discuss this Article

  • Dear Readers,

    We hope that this article is going to be the torch bearer for Indian Judicial realm while they use ‘DNA’ as evidence. The article discuss many issues, including the most recent N. D. Tiwari Case.

    Also it highlights in the section 2.3.2.4 that the concept of ‘DNA barcode’ which has become a Gold Standard for species identification was indeed discovered by Verma & Singh (US Patent 7141364, priority date 28 March 2001) with the name ‘Molecular Signature’ almost 3 years before Hebert et al. (2003).

    Finally, the paper discusses the ‘DNA bill 2014’ which is pending in parliament for approval! We argue that this country where we don’t even have a proper photo ID card for its citizens, should not directly jump to DNA card until all logistics are not well defined and finalized in a scientific and systematic way!

    Paper also discusses all the good and bad of DNA including the possibilities of ‘DNA theft’ ‘DNA fabrication’ etc, that can make anyone’s life hell if explored by criminals in the times to come and if the DNA is considered a final evidence in the Justice System as it is considered as on today!

    This paper is a must read for every scholar, whether involved or not in the business of ‘DNA’, at least for your own safety!

    Read the full article clicking the link below…free full text until September 3, 2014 (a generous gift from the publisher).

    Share this article as much as you can to your friends or discuss it here…..

    http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1PMrL1MCG01les

    Sincerely….Dr. S. K. Verma