PIL seeking establishment of DNA Index to help identify unidentified dead bodies, SC issues notice returnable after six weeks

Share on:

In response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate K.C. Jain seeking directions to the Union Government for the establishment of a DNA Index to help identify dead bodies, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a notice making it returnable after six weeks. The notice was issued by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chnadrachud, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on January 16, 2024. The PIL stated that every year around 40,000 unidentified or unclaimed dead bodies are found in the country. It also illustrated the importance of DNA profiling of unidentified bodies and stated that “The absence of DNA profiling facility exacerbates the plight of over 300,00 missing individuals, particularly women, and children, and hampers the identification of the numerous unidentified corpses.”

During the court proceedings, the counsel (for the petitioner) submitted that the Union gave a statement regarding the making of legislation for the same in accordance with the order of the top Court on 01 May 2018. He further contended that a bill was also introduced in the Lok Sabha but it lapsed after being passed. He added, “Then it was reintroduced, it was referred to the committee, then finally they withdrawn it on 24th July 2023, thereby the statement that was given by the Counsel of the Union of India that they will make the law ultimately did not fructify.” To this, the CJI remarked, “How can we direct the Parliament to make a law?” The Counsel replied, “We are not asking your lordship to direct them to make the law, what we want is for them to make the DNA Index, they should use the technology for finding the missing people.”

After hearing the contentions, the bench issued a notice in PIl seeking a response from the Union Government in the matter making it returnable after six weeks.