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Is DNA test rape evidence?

Published Jun 16, 2013 09:36am

THIS is apropos of the letter, ‘DNA evidence’ (June 9). I endorse the writer’s point of view but would like to share that the DNA evidence is not only good enough for the rape cases, a DNA test is a reliable tool for investigation of crime cases, if it is collected appropriately and timely.

It is also used for rape cases to be proved that sexual activity has occurred with the victim. It must be stated here that a DNA test tells that sexual activity has occurred but it does not confirm whether it occurred due to a consensual sexual relationship or rape.

You need to investigate and find more evidence, in addition to a DNA test, to prove rape, like the victim’s struggle against assault.Collected DNA evidence not only identifies a suspect but also eliminates a suspect from suspicion. Elimination samples must be taken from everyone who was present on the scene. Even samples should be taken from persons who have had a lawful access to the crime scene because they might have left biological materials there while collecting evidence.

A victim also needs to cooperate honestly and sincerely with investigators. The victim’s truthfulness may speed up and take the whole investigation process on the right track.

The DNA test should be made primary evidence in rape cases but it should not be considered the only and final evidence. Making a law against any crime is not an easy task. There is a need to consider all aspects of crime, punishment and the massage to be learnt by society.

HABIB HYDER LAGHARI Edmonton, Canada

Another view

THE Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has recently stated that DNA is secondary evidence in rape cases. This has been bitterly criticised by many. Here is a counter-viewpoint why DNA is secondary evidence.

DNA testing can prove that intercourse has occurred but not the circumstances of the event. Other evidence is needed to differentiate between rape (zina bil jabr) and consensual sex (zina bil raza). In rape, only the man will be punished, and in consensual sex, both man and woman will be punished.Science cannot prove that in case of a rape the DNA would be different and in case of intercourse with consent it will be different.

This can be treated as initial evidence, but not main evidence for rape. Also, one of the basic principles of both Sharia and the man-made law, to which attention must be paid, is that the accused is innocent until proved guilty and the claim of the claimant — whether man or woman — cannot be accepted unless there is valid proof.

SIRAJ
Karachi