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Evidentiary Value Of DNA Test And It's Pros And Cons

The techniques require the great care & caution. Precautions are required to be taken to ensure preparation of high molecular wht DNA complete digestion of the samples with appropriate enzymes, & perfect transfer & hybridization of the blot to obtain distinct b&s with appropriate control. DNA is essentially made of Amino Acid & it is matched with so called bases which provide the key to determine the genetic blueprint. Presently there is no concrete law or specific law to govern the admissibility of forensic technique, however the courts of law derives the validity of forensic technique from vrs provisions of Cr. P.C. & evi Act.

The discovery of DNA profiling1, on Fag end of 20th century has brought in a sea change in the identification scenario. DNA profiling specialist is doing yeomen services to criminal justice system & providing irrefutable evi. DNA profiling is providing proof, beyond reasonable doubts in many cases.

DNA is the abbreviation of Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid. It's the basic genetic material in all human body cells. It can be extracted from blood, saliva, semen, hairs, bones and other organs of the body. DNA structure determines the human character, behavior and body characteristics. DNA techniques now enjoy legitimacy all over the world. The technique helps the identifications of criminals on scientific lines.

Where DNA Originates
DNA is made up of one half our biological mother's DNA and one half of our biological father's DNA. 50% of our DNA is passed down to our children.2 It is this that ensures DNA is unique and allows for accurate testing of parentage and direct descendents through a DNA paternity test.

History of DNA
DNA sometimes called the building block or genetic blueprint of life was first described by the Scientist Francis H.C. Crick and James D. Watson in 19533. Crick and Watson identified the double helix structure of DNA, which resembles a twisted ladder and established the role DNA as the material and makes up the genetic code of living organism.4

DNA is the same in every cell throughout an individual's body, whether it is a skin cell, sperm cell or blood cell5. With the exception of identical twins, no two individuals have the same DNA blueprint. DNA analysis was first proposed in 1985 by the English Scientist Alec J. Jeffreys.

By the late 1980s, it was it was being performed by law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and by commercial laboratories. It consists of comparing selected segments of DNA molecules from different individuals. Because a DNA molecule is made up of billions of segments, only a small proportion of an individual's entire genetic code is analyzed.

Types & Procedure of DNA Testing:
  • Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP)
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Generally RFLP testing process requires larger amount of DNA and for proper results the DNA must be uncontaminated. PCR testing requires smaller amount of DNA samples. With the development of newer and more efficient DNA analysis technique, RFLP is not used as much as it was once used because it requires relatively larger amount of DNA. In addition, samples degraded by environment factors, such as dirt or mold, do not work well with RFLP. Now the RFLP has been replaced by the PCR based testing.

In DNA analysis for a criminal investigation, first a DNA molecule from the suspect is disassembled, and selected segments are isolated and measured. Then the suspect's DNA profile is compared with one derived from a sample of physical evidence to see whether the two match. If a conclusion non-match occurs, the suspect may be eliminated from consideration. If a match occurs, a statistical analysis is performed to determine the probability that the sample of physical evidence came from another person with the same DNA profile as suspects.

The researcher attempts to understand the concept on the topic "Evidentiary value of DNA test and its Pros and Cons" in Indian Criminal Justice Systems.
  • In addition to examining the concept of its evidentiary value with the Indian Constitution.
  • Also study about its Pros and Cons.
  • Also understand the concept of Constitutionality of DNA test in India.

Research Questions

The Research questions are as follows:
  • What are the types of DNA test and its testing procedure?
  • What are the provisions related to evidentiary values of DNA test?
  • What are the provisions related to DNA test in USA and UK?
  • Whether the concept of admissibility of DNA test is the same or different in other jurisdictions?

  • "Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and Technology Behind STR Markers" by John M. Butler
    This comprehensive book explores the fundamental concepts of DNA analysis and its application in forensic science. It discusses the methods and techniques used for DNA typing, making it a valuable resource for forensic experts in India.
  • "DNA Evidence and Forensic Science in India: An Investigative Handbook" by Satish Kumar Verma
    This book offers an in-depth look at the development and utilization of DNA evidence in India. It covers case studies, legal aspects, and emerging trends in the field of forensic DNA analysis.

The hypothesis of the researcher is to assume that the evidentiary value of DNA test in Indian Criminal Justice System and US is same.

Research Methodology
The researcher while constructing the project, have relied on both the primary and secondary Sources for the research while placing the main reliance on primary sources. The researcher has looked into the various books, articles. The researcher has predominantly relied upon the criminal procedure codes of the respective countries and their specific criminal justice system.

The researcher has used the descriptive and explanatory type of study as the researcher is providing the description of existing facts and used the uniform mode of citation throughout the project.

First DNA Evidence Admissible in India
In India, Kunhiraman Vs. Manoj7 was the first paternity dispute which required the DNA evidence, which was performed at CCMP, Hyderabad (A.P.). This hit the whole Indian judicial system and media was presented before the C.J.M. Telicherry, Kerala. The summary of the case is that a village girl Vilasini filed a case against her lover Kubhiraman for the maintenance of her child son/manoj.

She alleged that her son was born to her on account of illicit relation between them. The disowned she and he denied taking paternity of her son. The C.J.M. ordered both of them to undergo DNA test with their son at CCMB, Hyderabad. Dr Lalji Singh, Forensic Scientist and his colleagues performed the DNA test, and by the analysis result, it was proved that the disputed was fathered by none other than Kunhiraman.

Admissibility of DNA Test
DNA test provides perfect identity and is admissible.15 considering the fast technology development in the scientific field it has been held that there is nothing wrong in directing a person to undergo DNA test which will enable the courts to arrive at a proper conclusion. Such an act is not an inference with the personal liberty of a particular person.16 DNA analysis is accepted in India, it is part of admissible expert evidence under Section 45 of "Indian Evidence Act, 1872 "- more precise and totally scientific unlike handwriting experts opinion which is only an art and not a science hence a handwriting expert's opinion may or may not be accepted.

However there is an exception to the rule, Section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, provides that "when at the time of conception of the child the parents are residing together then DNA testing cannot be used a method to avoid the paternity of the child. Probably the la made at the time "Indian Evidence Act 1872.

"When ratified by Indian Government, never foresaw that there could be something as DNA testing in those days. The law has therefore remained un-amended. Another idea behind this is to avoid basterdization of the child. Be that as it may courts are bound by the law made and existing as it is.

In a judgment dated 15th Oct 2014 , the Supreme Court of India has upheld the validity of section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act "despite the DNA test proving otherwise (Dipanwita Roy Vs Ronbroto Roy in civil Appeal no. 9744 of 2014) ( A division Bench Judgment of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar Vs Justice R.K. Aggarwal )

Application in Evidence
Coming to the application in criminal cases, DNA tests can be effectively used in criminal cases for the following purpose. First, it assists in positively identifying the perpetrators of crime, particularly in case of sexual assaults and homicide where identification is often a central issue. Secondly, to identify the remains of victims of violent crimes. The most suitable application of DNA test for these purpose is evident in two popular cases namely, Santosh Kumar Singh Vs State (establishing commission of rape by the appellant) and Surendra koli Vs State of U.P.


  • It can prove actual innocence even when other trustworthy evidence plays in the defendant's favor
  • If handled properly, DNA evidence can be stored for years which is helpful because investigations and criminal court proceedings can last a long time
  • Police officers with unidentified samples can search for matches using DNA databases
  • DNA evidence beats eyewitness evidence when it comes to reliability


  • DNA evidence is only found in a small fraction of crime scenes
  • Evidence such as confessions, murder weapons, and other forensic evidence must supplement DNA evidence, as juries don't always base their verdicts upon DNA evidence alone
  • Human error involving a lack of training, sloppy work, and cross-contamination, among other issues, can interfere with the reliability of DNA evidence
  • DNA samples can pose privacy concerns as they identify your family relationships, ancestry, and potential for diseases
  • Criminals can plant DNA evidence to frame an innocent person for the crime, also known as "crime framing"
  • Why it is not a strong piece of evidence?

DNA test is a strong boon in criminal administration of justice, but in civil cases the socio economic conditions and peculiarity in our country declare this test against the human dignity especially of child and woman. But the inherent power of courts in civil matters section 151 of "Civil Procedure Code" 1908 should prevail for the sake of justice, truth and dignity of judicial administration.

So DNA technology can be used in the matters of human dignity, human right and human relation. It should be an essential part of Indian Judiciary & for that purpose we are eagerly waiting for an appropriate legislation in the name of The DNA Profiling Bill 2007 and the latest Bill which was withdrawn in the year 2022.

Which is stating the infrastructure, standards, quality control with assurance obligation of DNA laboratory, information, composition, qualification of DNA profiling board & its members, functions and most important establishment of DNA data bank?

Primary Sources  Acts / Statutes:
  • Constitution of India, 1950
  • Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

Secondary Sources  Books:
  • Ratanlal Dhirajlal, Law of Evidence, Lexis Nexis, 27th ED, 2019
  • Vepa P. Sarathi, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, EBC, 17TH ED
  • Indian Evidence: A Treatise, Batuk Lal, Central Law Agency, 117th ED, 2019
  • John M. Butler, Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and Technology Behind STR Markers
  • V. N Shukla, Constitution of India, 1950, EBC, 14TH ED, 2022
  • Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and Technology Behind STR Markers" by John M. Butler
  • Satish Kumar Verma, DNA Evidence and Forensic Science in India: An Investigative Handbook


Written By:
  1. Shahid Ahmad LLM Constitution, ICFAI Law School, The ICFAI University, Dehradun
    Email: [email protected]
  2. Ashish Kumar Singhal Associate Professor, ICFAI Law School, The ICFAI University, Dehradun
    Email: [email protected]

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Shahid Ahmad
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