In August last year, the AP government launched a DNA Database collection kit developed by IntegenX, Inc, a US company that enables DNA to be extracted from saliva and blood samples within a matter of two hours.
They plan on bringing in a legislation that will allow the State police and investigating agencies to collect and store DNA samples in a centralized database. The centralized DNA database on convicts would help track repeat offenders in sexual assault and rape.
In 2012, the Centre first prepared a draft bill on the issue, but the legislation faced severe opposition from activists, saying it violated privacy. In 2015, The Department of Biotechnology and the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA-Fingerprinting and Diagnostics prepared the Centre’s Human DNA Profiling Bill, which is yet to be cleared by the Union Cabinet. Many organizations and individuals are concerned about the bill giving unprecedented powers to the government for database collection and using the gathered data for purposes beyond tracking and solving crimes.
A few forensic experts in Andhra Pradesh familiar with the use of DNA databases believe that the State officials were relying on “extremely expensive technology” and a database wouldn’t be useful without supportive Central legislation. They further added saying, “Also we need to first train people in collecting DNA from crime scenes and storing them properly. A database can come later,”