Children have a right to protect their DNA Information: SC

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    • Recently The Supreme Court held that children should be subjected to DNA tests only as a last resort for establishing infidelity.

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    • Supreme Court observed that 
      • Courts should mind that children are not material objects to be subjected to forensic/DNA testing, particularly when they are not parties to the divorce proceedings.
      • The rights of privacy, autonomy and identity of  children are recognised under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
      • a child’s genetic information is part of his fundamental Right to privacy.

    What is a DNA paternity test?

    • DNA is the genetic material children inherit from  their parents
    • DNA paternity testing uses DNA profiles to determine whether an individual is the biological parent of a child.
    • A 24-marker DNA profile of the parent and child is compared to identify biological parents

    Legislation on DNA testing

    • There is no specific legal legislation present in India that provides specific guidelines for DNA Testing.
    • Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 : This section is used by Indian courts to deal with scientific evidence.
    • Section 53 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973: This section authorizes a police officer for getting the assistance of a medical practitioner in good faith for the purpose of the investigation
    • The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019:This bill attempts to establish a regulatory framework for the usage of DNA information.

     

    United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child

    • The UNCRC is a binding human rights treaty that sets the political, civil, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
    • UNCRC established  the following as core principles of children’s rights
      • Non-discrimination
      • Right to life, survival and development
      • Best interests of the child
      • Respect for the child’s views
    • It was adopted by the United Nations in 1989. It entered into force in 1990.The Government of India ratified the convention on 11 December, 1992.
    • Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a body of experts that monitor and report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Source: TH