Narco Analysis Test – Is it Legal in India?

The Narco analysis test has always been the most impugned topic amongst the legal fraternity, media and the common people. The Narco analysis test is a truth-finding test, in this test the subject is given an injection of a drug, TRUTH SERUM which helps in neutralising the subject’s imagination. Narco test is just like brain mapping or in layman’s language we can say that it is used as a lie detector. In this test a statement is made by a semi-conscious person, now the question arises whether this statement given should be legal in the Court of law or not. The Narco test was first conducted in the GODHRA RIOT in 2002. Some of the other renowned cases like the SHRADDHA WALKER MURDER CASE and AARUSHI TALWAR MURDER CASE also took up the narco test to carry on their investigation. But since in this test statements are given by a semi-conscious person, thus these statements are unable to give effect and are not admissible in a court of law. The other reason why this test is not legal in India is that it violates the Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 20(3) which states that no person can be compelled to be a witness against himself. By considering this test we would violate the Right against Self- Incrimination of that person. In addition to this, the narco test is also said to be violating the Right of Privacy of a person guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. A Three judge bench of the Supreme Court in the SELVI & ORS VS STATE OF KARNATAKA & AN decided that no such test would be administered in the court unless it is done with the consent of the accused. It was also decided that such a person should be duly represented by the legal practitioner at the time of judgement. Such a statement shall not be considered a ‘confessional’ statement rather it shall have the status same as a statement given to the police. Thus we can say that such a test cannot be considered a confession, but any info discovered later with such a test is ‘Corroborative Evidence’.

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It is right that using such technical methods would cause an infringement of fundamental rights but without the aid of these scientific methods, our judicial system is weak. Such evidence should be considered in some cases to provide the victim with the justice they deserve. Thus using these methods would assuredly make our justice system more effective and reliable. On the other hand, it should also be kept in mind that the Nacro test should not be the only basis for coming to a judgement unless there is proof validating such a statement.

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