SC to study ‘effect’ of Bhushan’s statement
- A three judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Arun Mishra, will on Tuesday examine the “effect” of a statement filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan that an insincere apology for his tweets, which are an expression of his bona fide beliefs, would amount to “contempt of my conscience and of an institution that I hold in highest esteem”.
- “My tweets represented this bona fide belief that I continue to hold. Public expression of these beliefs was, I believe, in line with my higher obligations as a citizen and a loyal officer of this court. Therefore, an apology for expression of these beliefs, conditional or unconditional, would be insincere,” he said in the supplementary statement filed on Monday.
DNA Bill can be misused, flags draft report
- The Bill that proposes DNA sampling and profiling of citizens accused of crime or reported missing and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes has some alarming provisions that could be misused for caste or community based profiling, a draft report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology has flagged.
- The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Act, 2019, has been in the works for 15 years now. Nearly 60 countries have enacted similar legislation, with the U.S. bringing in a law as far back as in 1994.
- “Under the provisions of the Bill, access to such intrusive information can be misused to specifically target individuals and their families with their own genetic data. This is particularly worrying as it could even be used to incorrectly link a particular caste/community to criminal activities,” the report noted.
- The Bill proposes to store DNA profiles of suspects, under trials, victims and their relatives for future investigations.
- In the Bill, if a person is arrested for an offence that carries punishment up to seven years, investigation authorities must take the person’s written consent before taking the DNA sample. But this consent is only “perfunctory”, the report said.
- “The Bill refers to consent in several provisions, but in each of those, a magistrate can easily override consent, thereby in effect, making consent perfunctory. There is also no guidance in the Bill on the grounds and reasons when the magistrate can override consent, which could become a fatal flaw.”
Guwahati gets India’s ‘longest’ river ropeway
- India’s ‘longest’ passenger ropeway across a river was unveiled in Guwahati on Monday, almost a year after it was completed.
- The 1.82km bicable jigback ropeway connects a forest campus near the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner’s office in the city on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra and a hillock behind the Doul Govinda temple in north Guwahati on the other