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Demand for DNA bank

Hyderabad, Oct. 1: The Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics has urged the Union government to create a DNA fingerprinting database of convicts like the US.

The centre, which has solved nearly 1,000 important cases since its inception, has also mooted setting up a DNA Profiling Advisory Committee for drafting legislation that would accord more importance to evidence provided by fingerprinting.

At present, DNA evidence is merely treated as “expert evidence” in court.

Centre director Syed Ehtesham Hasnain said here today that the law, home and finance ministries are considering the proposal and a formal announcement is expected soon. He said such legislation was necessary because the fingerprinting database had helped investigations and ensured justice in many countries.

“The rate of conviction has gone up significantly wherever DNA fingerprinting has been taken as evidence in the court,” Hasnain said. The director was briefing newsmen about the first conference of its kind, on the “ of New Biology” on the Justice Delivery System, to be inaugurated by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam here on Friday.

The conference has been organised by the fingerprinting centre, the Andhra government and the Nalsar University of Law. It will discuss DNA fingerprinting and intellectual property rights and will be attended by various Supreme Court judges, chief justices of high courts, former chief justices of India and the attorney-general.

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