KARACHI - The ‘Mandatory Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Testing Bill 2013’ is awaiting Sindh Assembly’s consent since long as lawmakers do not have enough time to look into it.
Under the draft bill, the Deoxyribonucleic Acid Testing has been suggested mandatory for rape victims as primary evidence for effective dispensation of justice in Sindh.
The bill is submitted by Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sharmila Farooqui as a private member which comes on the agenda of the Assembly on private members’ day but never taken up.
The bill was submitted in the follow up of a resolution passed by the Sindh Assembly on June 5, 2013 unanimously, through which the provincial legislature had recommended the Sindh government to make Deoxyribonucleic Acid tests mandatory in all rape cases. The costs of which should be supported by the Sindh government.
The Deoxyribonucleic Acid testing has been proposed mandatorily conducted for the rape victim in the bill. In case a complaint is lodged within the optimal time, intimate DNA sample shall be collected from the rape victim within the optimal time or within 12 hours from the lodging of the complaint.
Even after the lapse of the optimal time, the police authorities and medics shall make all efforts to collect and preserve the intimate Deoxyribonucleic Acid sample and non-intimate Deoxyribonucleic Acid sample to help the investigation.
Under the proposed bill, the Sindh government must arrange for forensic labs and collection centres, with adequate facilities to collect samples for Deoxyribonucleic Acid testing, in every district of the province within 90 days from the date of promulgation of the bill.
It may be noted that Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) recently proposed that DNA testing must not be given priority in rape cases which invited criticism from the liberal circles of the country especially the civil society organisations.
However, the Sindh government is yet to submit reply to the law department for this private bill of mandatory DNA testing in rape cases.