Cabinet gives final approval to draft of DNA Bill 2013


The Cabinet on Monday gave final approval to the draft of the ‘Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) Bill 2013’ keeping provisions of minimum three years to maximum seven years jail or Tk 300,000 as fine for destroying, changing or polluting the sample of DNA profiling.


The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.


Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said it would be a Finance Bill and authentication of the President will be required for sending it to Parliament for approval.


He said this was the first meeting of the all-party polls-time government. At the outset of the meeting, the Prime Minister greeted the newly inducted Cabinet members and wished their overall success.


Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the DNA profiling, an innovation of the modern science, is very much needed for detecting criminals of major offenses like rape and murder, detecting fatherhood and motherhood, and brotherly and sisterly relationship, for going abroad and also to identify decomposed bodies.


He said that the law has been proposed for increasing the capacity and efficiency of the National Forensic DNA Profiling Laboratory at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and seven other laboratories in seven districts — Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna, Chittagong, Faridpur, Barisal and Rangpur.


To administer the law, he said a Directorate will be set up under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs where the experts on this subject will get priority.


Until the formation of the Directorate, its activities will be run through a cell under the Ministry. Besides, an Advisory Council will be formed headed by the concerned Minister or State Minister of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.


There will also be a technical committee while a national database will be prepared to maintain secrecy of information on DNA profiling.


The Cabinet Secretary said that subject to breach of secrecy of DNA profiling, the law has kept provision of various punishments.


In case of conducting DNA profiling activities without approval, the jail will be maximum five years and minimum two years while the fine Tk 100,000.


For collecting DNA related information or releasing information without approval, there will be maximum three years jail or Tk 50,000 as fine or both.


Musharraf said that if anyone accesses the National DNA database without approval, he or she will be given maximum two years imprisonment or Tk 30,000 as fine.


Answering a query, the Cabinet Secretary said that during the meeting, he had sought opinion from the Prime Minister whether the current Cabinet would be termed all-party or not.


In reply, the Prime Minister said since she had offered all the parties to join the polls-time Cabinet, under that perspective it would be appropriate to call it an all-party Cabinet.


Replying to another question, Musharraf said the Prime Minister is yet to give him any directives whether the current Cabinet would conduct only routine works or take policy decisions as well.


No adviser to the Prime Minister attended the day’s cabinet meeting, he added.


Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting while concerned Secretaries were present.

Source: UNB Connect

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