Punjab and Haryana High Court in its recent judgment laid down that conducting a DNA test of a rape accused under section 53A of the Cr.P.C is a part of a fair trial.
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is found in our body and helps in determining all the characteristics of a living thing. DNA evidence can be used to identify the perpetrator, similar to the way we use fingerprints.
It can be collected from blood, saliva, sweat, urine, skin tissues and semen. The DNA collected from the semen found in the victim’s body is matched with that of the accused and medical reports can help in identifying the accused. That is why it is advised to the victim not to take a shower after the crime has occurred as it can lead to the removal of DNA traces.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court was hearing a revision petition filed by the petitioners, who are accused before the trial court, challenging the order of the trial court. The trial court dismissed their application for conducting DNA profiling of such petitioners.
The trial court stated that no person can file such an application at any point in time, they like. The court considered that the application was filed to further delay the judgment of the case as this application was filed after all the witnesses in the matter, including the prosecutrix (the woman who has filed the case) was thoroughly examined by the court.
Therefore, the petitioners filed an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Here, Justice Raj Shekhar Attri in his ratio decidendi (the judgment) held that the accused has the right of getting the DNA test conducted as it is a major evidence in case of rape cases, this test should not be omitted as denial of it would be considered as denying a chance of fair and just trial which would amount to violation of human rights. These DNA tests would not only provide the accused a chance of fair trial but also help the court to take a just decision.
Honorable Justice said, “A Judge is required to keep in mind that trial is fair. It is well settled that the denial of a fair trial amounts to violation of human rights. A criminal trial is ‘a search of fact and in fact a search of truth. As such, a Judge has to intervene as and when required, especially to rule out illegalities, irregularities or infirmities and also inadmissible evidence.”
The court set aside the decision of the trial court and gave the decision in favour of the review petition. It directed that DNA profiling of both the petitioners be conducted with the available DNA profile of the prosecutrix.