The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of the ‘Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) Bill 2013’ keeping a provision for both imprisonment and fine to bring the existing DNA test process under a legal framework.
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 the proposed law is very important considering the fact that there is currently no provision for DNA profiling in the existing laws of the country.
He said DNA tests are usually done in the country in Dhaka Medical College and some other laboratories outside the capital for the detection of criminals, ascertaining fatherhood and motherhood as well as brothers and sisters and identification of dead bodies.
Musharraf said the proposed law seeks to bring DNA testing under a legal framework and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs took opinions from the stakeholders concerned to this end.
He said the law would feature how will the DNA be identified? How will the DNA database be protected? How to analyze DNA and prepare report? And it will also ensure the qualitative standard of DNA testing.
The Cabinet Secretary said the proposed law kept various punitive measures for violating it with maximum seven years rigorous imprisonment or Tk 2 lakh fine.
Besides, there will be an Advisory Council comprising representatives from various ministries and institutions in addition to a permanent administrative structure.
The day’s meeting approved in principle the draft of the ‘Comilla University (Amendment) Bill, 2013’creating the post of Pro Vice Chancellor and making permanent the post of its treasurer.
The draft of the ‘Barisal University (Amendment) Bill, 2013’ was also approved in principle by the Cabinet meeting creating the post of Pro Vice Chancellor for the University.
The Cabinet also approved the drafts of the ‘Information and Communication Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and the ‘Vested Property Return (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013’ to place the existing ordinances before parliament as bills.
The Cabinet meeting gave nod to the draft of ‘Bangladesh Travel Agency (Registration and Control) Bill, 2013’ with a provision for six months imprisonment and Tk 50,000 fine as well as the ‘Rural Electrification Board Bill, 2013’ in light with the previous cabinet decision of examining and updating the laws or ordinances passed during the martial law period and redrafting those in Bangla.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal of observing June 9 as the ‘World Accreditation Day’ in order to make mass awareness about the importance of accreditation.
Besides, two reports on the visits of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister to South Korea on July 24-26, 2013 and participation of the Commerce Minister to first IOR-ARC Economic and Business Conference held at Mauritius on July 4-5 this year were placed before the Cabinet.