The debate about holding DNA test as admissible evidence in rape cases does not even exist in several parts of the world. The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from Kasur has stirred up the altercation yet again as the culprit’s DNA profile and polygraph test have helped in identifying him as the main culprit in this and seven other cases. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court’s ruling and the four-witness principle in Islamic law in this regard is expected to embroil the case. In order to prove why DNA profiling is the most reliable evidence, it needs to be discussed as to why it is not currently deemed a credible one.Like almost every perplexity in this country, this one too traces back its origin to military dictator Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. The Hudood Ordinances obliterated all demarcations that differentiate rape from adultery and fornication. When we claim Islam to be a religion of reason, we assert that all injunctions prescribed by God are not sans rationality. This statement directly contradicts with the logic of equating crime with consent, promulgating identical punishments and providing for an extra burden of proof on the part of the victim. The credo of producing four witnesses is factually being used as a tool to ensure that no rape crime is ever proven. The essence of this law was to report only the incident, whether of adultery, fornication or rape, which has been committed in the open without any fear or has become so recurrent that its happening has been witnessed by at least four male witnesses, not that only such incident will be considered rape which has been committed in the presence of four men. No rapist commits the heinous crime in front of anyone unless that anyone is himself a part of the gang. This is nothing but common sense which the stakeholders fail to acknowledge. Because of the stereotypes attached with such assaults, much of the onus is put on the victim, especially if it is a woman, by bringing into question her chastity and character instead of the nature of violation. Among the several gender biases that are rooted deeply in judicial proceedings in Pakistan, the archaic two-finger test employed for decoding consent in rape trials is the most absurd one and it unfortunately holds a higher determinative nature than DNA profiling.Being a student of Biotechnology, I hold DNA profile as the most credible and the only reliable evidence that can be presented. From photography to anthropometry, fingerprinting and DNA fingerprinting, forensic science has progressed at fact pace. Each next step was developed to counter its predecessor’s shortcomings. While photographs presented the challenge of identifying perpetrators on the basis of their appearances which can be easily changed, anthropometry involved measurements of relatively constant physical characteristics of humans, such as head width, height etc. But the possibility of more than one person possessing the same anthropometric measurements was an undeniable limitation, hence the shift of focus to fingerprinting. Although it has enjoyed the status of being a mainstay of forensics for over a century, several reported cases of fingerprint mis-identifications as well as loss of evidence compelled to search for an even more reliable method. Among the several gender biases that are rooted deeply in judicial proceedings in Pakistan, the archaic two-finger test employed for decoding consent in rape trials is the most abhorrent. Unfortunately, it holds a higher determinative nature than DNA profilingThough we are accustomed to seeing a universal diagram of cell in every science textbook that shows a nucleus surrounded by some fluid and all of this enclosed in a membrane, every cell of each organism is very unique. Its uniqueness lies in the genetic material it contains, DNA in the case of humans. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a double chain of four molecules that are arranged in a unique manner for each individual. This seems problematic as mind can comprehend only a limited number of possible sequences; but it surely does not remain a difficult job when each chain contains approximately 3 billion molecules. These unique sequences, however, do have sites that are identical in sequence and are locations where enzymes act and cut the chain into tiny pieces. When subjected to a suitable enzyme’s action, the molecule is cut and eventually run on a gel in a technique known as electrophoresis which separates these fragments on the basis of their sizes and forms bands.DNA can be extracted from any cell except red blood cells (as they do not have any nucleus) by obtaining body samples including saliva, blood, semen and vaginal fluid. In a typical case of assault, the victim’s body does not only have his/her own DNA but also that of the culprit. Thus, through special sample collection techniques both the DNAs are extracted and subjected to enzyme action which cuts each sample into fragments of different sizes depending upon the location of cutting sites which vary in each person (thanks to the varying sequence of all individuals). Therefore, whenever a DNA test is conducted, both the samples collected from the victim’s body and that procured from suspect(s)’ are run in parallel on the same gel and the positions of bands compared. The profile that exactly matches with the perpetrator’s is the real offender.What could be more reliable than this? When DNA profiling can be used for identification of Zainab’s rapist, why can’t it be used as a means to serve her justice? I do not know what makes DNA test ‘haraam’ as was ruled by the Council of Islamic Ideology because DNA, its uniqueness in each individual, the variation of its sequence and the dissimilarity in the locations of cutting sites are all a design of God and such a design can surely not be useless. For how long will the criminals continue taking advantage of our flawed legal framework?The writer is a freelance writer from LahorePublished in Daily Times, January 27th 2018.