Memory is a man’s real possession In nothing else is he rich, in nothing
else is he poor. Crime wave deceives, criminal mind perceives and criminal
soul conceives - - Alexander Smith
The revolution in scientific technology is waving like fast flowing air
and water in the modern world of advancement. The field of law is also
under the shadow of scientific advancement. Judicial system, particularly
the criminal justice system, is not untouched with the advancement of
science. A volcano has emerged in the age old established laws of crime
detection and investigation with the introduction of view techniques of
crime detections like Brain Mapping, Narco-Analysis, Hypnosis, P-300 and
Polygraph Test in laws of evidence and criminal jurisprudence. While
walking on the path of technology we can not forget that we are human
beings creation of God not Robots.
Memory is gift of God and science has
no right to encroach on that personal property. When we test the validity
of this test on the touchstone of Constitution, long established criminal
jurisprudence and rights of the accused then problem arises. On one hand
evidences are authentic, easy for the judges to inflict death sentence,
guilt is proved beyond all reasonable doubts and law should change
according to the need of time on the path of progress. But on the other
hand it is rape of the mind of the accused. Is judiciary so weak that it
allows for the rape of mind of accused? A computerized handwriting tool is
a much better option to detect a criminality of accused instead of
lie-detector and polygraph tests; which infringes privacy of human mind.
The element of criminal instinct is present in the nature of human being
since the birth of the cosmos. An effort has been made to discover the
root cause of crime but the search, so, far has been in vain. When crimes
are emerging on every inhabited patch of the globe, further more attempts
to stop crime are made. The revolution in scientific technology is waving
like fast flowing air and water in the modern world of advancement.
Scientific inventions and discoveries are growing at much faster speed in
every sphere of life.
Science and Technology has made life of people
luxurious in numerous ways. The intersection of law, science and
technology has flourished to become a focal point for resolution of many
important issues such as scientific evidences, genetic and biological
research, cloning and privacy of nervous system of person. Science and law
are inter dependable. The field of law is also under the shadow of
scientific advancement. Judicial system, particularly the criminal justice
system, is not untouched with the advancement of science. A volcano has
emerged in the age old laws of crime detection (investigation), long
established laws of evidence and criminal jurisprudence with the
introduction of view techniques of crime detections like Brain Mapping, Narco-Analysis, Hypnosis, P-300 and Polygraph Test. These advanced crime
detection tools has emerged as the most powerful branch in law which are
termed as Neuro Law helping the Law Enforcement Agencies in administration
of the Criminal Justice System.
The Most important function of scientific investigation is to convert
suspicion into reasonable certainty of either guilt or innocence. The
foundation of criminal justice system is to prove the guilt of accused
beyond all reasonable doubt and to protect the innocent from wrongly
conviction. This is all possible by the search of truth .On the way of
Scientific evidences such as biological evidence cannot tell a lie and
decision arrived at by such an evidence is said to be justice through
science. The latest technique to elicit truth from suspect has become a
topic of debate in context of its admissibility that is Narco Analysis. A
generally acceptable scientific evidence which is to be acceptable to
courts of law and scientific community is known as "Forensic" evidence.
Such evidence must satisfy the test of admissibility according to the
Indian Evidence Act, 1872. But the problem is admissibility of evidences
given under neuroscience which are considered as Rape of mind of person.
As it has destroyed safeguard exist in Article 20(3) of constitution of
India , Right to Privacy is available under the Constitution of India as
such no person can be compelled to undergo any scientific test for
collective evidence against himself or herself. The problem has become
grave with the coming into scene "Neuroscience".
Neuroscience: Mother of Narco Analysis Test The study of brain and the nervous system is called, “Neurosciene”. While
investigating the cases some criminals prove to be a hard nut to crack. In
such cases, to procure evidence, the investigating teams generally end up
by adopting unfair and illegal means. Inspite of adopting unfair means, it
is fruitful to rely on science. With the advance scientific discoveries,
working with their experts, the investigating officer can read the mind of
suspect and dig out concealed information and evidence. The whole neuro
law is based on brain science which moreover Indian Constitution have
permitted legislative system to take necessary steps in making law for
justice through science. According to the Constitution of India, Part
IV-A, it shall be the fundamental duties of every citizen of India to
develop the scientific temper, humanism the spirit of inquiry and reform
;that has brought volcano in present day administration of criminal
Neuroscience is an attempt to read brain and mind through it. No body can
explain the complete functioning of brain because there is fundamental
uncertainty about the mind of others. Neuro-imaging is a process which
records different patterns of brain images taken under varying
circumstances that may relate with different future behaviors and
conditions. Through the help of computer assisted tomography (CAT) the
structure of living brain may be revealed. Through positron emission
tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) different parts of
brain functions may be studied. The search for effective aids to
interrogation is probably as old as man’s need to obtain authentic and
truth information. Development of new tools of investigation has led to
the emergence of scientific tools of interrogation like Narco Analysis
Tests. Such tests are a result of advances in science but they often raise
doubt regarding basic human rights and about their reliability.
Meaning: Narco Analysis Test The term Narco Analysis is derieved from Greek word “narkc” (meaning
anesthesia or torpor) and is used to describe a diagnoistic and
psychotherapeutic technique that uses psychotropic drugs, particularly
barbiturates, to induce a stupor in which mental elements with strong
associated affects come to the surface, where they can be exploited by the
therapist. The term Narco Analysis was coined by Horselley. Ever since the
first reported use of criminal narco analysis in 1922, the process has
been under the scanner with absolutely unflattering results. Narco
Analysis was rather unheard in India till recent past. However, it has
been in the news in the past one year as a new investigation technique by
various investigative agencies in India.
Gist of Narco Analysis Testing Procedure The narco analysis test is conducted by mixing 3 grams of Sodium Pentothal
or Sodium Amytal dissolved in 3000 ml. of distilled water. Narco Test
refers to the practice of administering barbiturates or certain other
chemical substances, most often Pentothal Sodium, to lower a subject's
inhibitions, in the hope that the subject will more freely share
information and feelings. A person is able to lie by using his
imagination. In the narco Analysis Test, the subject's inhibitions are
lowered by interfering with his nervous system at the molecular level. In
this state, it becomes difficult though not impossible for him to lie .In
such sleep-like state efforts are made to obtain "probative truth" about
Experts inject a subject with hypnotics like Sodium Pentothal
or Sodium Amytal under the controlled circumstances of the laboratory. The
dose is dependent on the person's sex, age, health and physical condition.
The subject which is put in a state of Hypnotism is not in a position to
speak up on his own but can answer specific but simple questions after
giving some suggestions. The subject is not in a position to speak up on
his own but can answer specific but simple questions. The answers are
believed to be spontaneous as a semi-conscious person is unable to
manipulate the answers. Wrong dose can send the subject into coma or even
result in death. The rate of administration is controlled to drive the
accused slowly into a hypnotic trance.
The effect of the bio-molecules on
the bio-activity of an individual is evident as the drug depresses the
central nervous system, lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate,
putting the subject into a hypnotic trance resulting in a lack of
inhibition. The subject is then interrogated by the investigating agencies
in the presence of the doctors. The revelations made during this stage are
recorded both in video and audio cassettes. The report prepared by the
experts is what is used in the process of collecting evidence. This
procedure is conducted in government hospitals after a court order is
passed instructing the doctors or hospital authorities to conduct the
test. Personal consent of the subject is also required.
Associated Truth Finding Tests Apart from Narco test there are also other kinds of tests which are
popularly used on the convict for extraction of truth convict for
extraction of truth, these are-
It is an examination, which is based on an assumption that there is an
interaction between the mind and body and is conducted by various
components or the sensors of a polygraph machine, which are attached to
the body of the person who is interrogated by the expert. The machine
records the blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration and muscle
movements. Polygraph test is conducted in three phases- a pretest
interview, chart recording and diagnosis. The examiner (a clinical or
criminal psychologist) prepares a set of test questions depending upon the
relevant information about the case provided by the investigating officer,
such as the criminal charges against the person and statements made by the
suspect. The subject is questioned and the reactions are measured. A
baseline is established by asking questions whose answers the
investigators know. Lying by a suspect is accompanied by specific,
perceptible physiological and behavioural changes and the sensors and a
wave pattern in the graph expose this. Deviation from the baseline is
taken as a sign of lie. All these reactions are corroborated with other
evidence gathered. The polygraph test was among the first scientific tests
to be used by the interrogators.It was Keeler who further refined the
polygraph machine by adding a Psycho-galvanometer to record the electrical
resistance of the skin.
Polygraph or Lie Detection Tests:
P- 300 or the Brain Mapping Tests: This test was developed and patented in 1995 by neurologist Dr. Lawrence
A. Farwell, Director and Chief Scientist “Brain Wave Science”, IOWA. In
this method, called the “Brain-wave finger printing”; the accused is first
interviewed and interrogated to find out whether he is concealing any
information. Then sensors are attached to the subject’s head and the
person is seated before a computer monitor. He is then shown certain
images or made to hear certain sounds. The sensors monitor electrical
activity in the brain and register P300 waves, which are generated only if
the subject has connection with the stimulus i.e. picture or sound. The
subject is not asked any questions.
Dr. Farwell has published that a MERMER (Memory and Encoding Related Multifaceted Electro Encephalographic
Response) is initiated in the accused when his brain recognizes noteworthy
information pertaining to the crime. These stimuli are called the “target
stimuli”. In a nutshell, Brain finger printing test matches information
stored in the brain with information from the crime scene. Studies have
shown that an innocent suspect’s brain would not have stored or recorded
certain information, which an actual perpetrator’s brain would have
stored. In USA, the FBI has been making use of “Brain mapping technique”
to convict criminals.
Narco Analysis In Indian Context A few democratic countries, India most notably, still continue to use
narco analysis. This has come under increasing criticism from the public
and the media in that country. Narco analysis is not openly permitted for
investigative purposes in most developed and/or democratic countries. In
India, the narco analysis test is done by a team comprising of an
anesthesiologist, a psychiatrist, a clinical/ forensic psychologist, an
audio-videographer, and supporting nursing staff. The forensic
psychologist will prepare the report about the revelations, which will be
accompanied by a compact disc of audio-video recordings. The strength of
the revelations, if necessary, is further verified by subjecting the
person to polygraph and brain mapping tests.
Narco analysis is steadily being mainstreamed into investigations, court
hearings, and laboratories in India. However, it raises serious
scientific, legal, and ethical questions. These need to be addressed
urgently before the practice spreads further. Narco analysis has become an
increasingly, perhaps alarmingly, common term in India. It refers to the
process of psychotherapy conducted on a subject by inducing a sleep-like
state with the aid of barbiturates or other drugs. In a spate of high
profile cases, such as those of the Nithari killers and the Mumbai train
blasts, suspects have been whisked away to undergo an interview drugged
with the barbiturate sodium pentothal.
Self Incrimination v. Truth Serum: Article 20 (3) of the Indian Constitution is the syncrestistic result of
the Anglo-saxon jurisprudence and India’s realities, culture and ethos,
proving once again the cosmological nexus of human rights jurisprudence
the world over. The main provision regarding crime investigation and trial
in the Indian Constitution is Art. 20(3). It deals with the privilege
against self-incrimination. It has its equivalents in the Magna Carta, the
Talmud, and the law of almost every civilized country. The privilege
against `self incrimination is a fundamental canon of Common law criminal
The Characteristics of this Principle are:
# The accused is presumed to be innocent,
# That it is for the prosecution to establish his guilt,
# That the accused need not make any statement against his will.
These propositions emanate from an apprehension that if compulsory
examination of an accused were to be permitted then force and torture may
be used against him to entrap him into fatal contradictions. The privilege
against self-incrimination thus enables the maintenance of human privacy
and observance of civilized standards in the enforcement of criminal
Art. 20(3) which embody this privilege reads, “No person accused of any
offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”.
On analysis, this provision is found to contain the following components:
# It is a right available to a person “accused of an offence”;
# It is a protection against such “compulsion” “to be a witness”;
# It is a protection against such “compulsion” resulting in his giving
evidence against himself.
All the three ingredients must necessarily coexist before the protection
of Art 20(3) can be claimed. If any of these ingredients is missing, Art.
20(3) cannot be invoked.
The application of narco analysis test involves the fundamental question
pertaining to judicial matters and also to Human Rights. The legal
position of applying this technique as an investigative aid raises genuine
issues like encroachment of an individual’s rights, liberties and freedom.
Subjecting the accused to undergo the test, as has been done by the
investigative agencies in India, is considered by many as a blatant
violation of Art. 20(3) of Constitution.
It also goes against the maxim Nemo Tenetur se Ipsum Accusare that is, If the confession from the accused
is derived from any physical or moral compulsion (be it under hypnotic
state of mind) it should stand to be rejected by the court. The main issue
thus is the question of its admissibility as a scientific technique in
investigations and its ultimate admissibility in court as forensic
evidence. It is well established that the Right to Silence has been
granted to the accused by virtue of the pronouncement in the case of
Nandini Sathpathy vs P.L.Dani, no one can forcibly extract statements
from the accused, who has the right to keep silent during the course of
interrogation (investigation). By the administration of these tests,
forcible intrusion into one’s mind is being restored to, thereby
nullifying the validity and legitimacy of the Right to Silence. Right to
Privacy has been specifically provided in order to remedy privacy
violations that occurred in past authoritarian regimes.
Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 does allow experts’ opinions
in cetain cases. Section 45 reads as:
When the court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of
science, or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger impression,
the opinions upon that point or persons especially skilled in such foreign
law, or of science, or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger
impressions are relevant.
However this section is silent on other aspects of forensic evidence that
can be admissible in court in criminal proceedings. The right against
forced self-incrimination, widely known as the Right to Silence is
enshrined in the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) and the Indian
Constitution. In the Cr.P.C, the legislature has guarded a citizen’s right
against self-incrimination. S.161 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure
states that every person “is bound to answer truthfully all questions, put
to him by [a police] officer, other than questions the answers to which,
would have a tendency to expose that person to a criminal charge, penalty
Analysis of Recent Events And Case Laws In India I. In a 2006 judgment Dinesh Dalmia v State, the Madras High Court
held that subjecting an accused to narco analysis is not tantamount to
testimony by compulsion. The court said about the accused: "he may be
taken to the laboratory for such tests against his will, but the
revelation during such tests is quite voluntary." In narco analysis, the
drug contained in the syringe is the element of compulsion. The rest is
II. In 2004, the Bombay High Court ruled in the multi-crore-rupee fake
stamp paper case that subjecting an accused to certain tests like
narcoanalysis does not violate the fundamental right against
self-incrimination. Statements made under narco analysis are not
admissible in evidence. However, recoveries resulting from such drugged
interviews are admissible as corroborative evidence. This is, arguably, a
roundabout way to subverting the right to silence — acquiring the
information on where to find the weapon from the subject when, in his
right senses, he would not turn witness against himself. Arguments have
been made that narco analysis constitutes mental torture. It works by
inhibiting the nervous system and thus lowering the subject's inhibitions.
It is not difficult to interpret this as a physical violation of an
individual's mind-space. The State police departments are responsible for
generating demand for the process. The decision to conduct narco analysis
is usually made by the Superintendent of Police or the Deputy Inspector
General handling a case.
III. In Shashi murder case, Court allows narco-analysis. Vijaysen
Yadav, the main accused in the disappearance and murder case of Faizabad
law student Shashi, has gone through polygraph and narco-analysis test
from January 12 to 26. Faizabad Chief Judicial Magistrate Shailesh Tiwari
permitted the police on Friday to conduct the tests at the Central
Forensic Laboratory in Bangalore.
In his order, the CJM said the tests on Vijaysen will be conducted in
judicial custody and prohibited investigating Officer Sharat Chandra
Pandey from intervening in any matter during the process of tests. The
court also asked him not to accompany Vijaysen to Bangalore.
IV. The Bombay High Court recently in a significant verdict in the case
of, Ramchandra Reddy and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, upheld the
legality of the use of P300 or Brain finger-printing, lie-detector test
and the use of truth serum or narco analysis. The court upheld a special
court order given by the special court in Pune as mentioned above,
allowing the SIT to conduct scientific tests on the accused in the fake
stamp paper scam including the main accused, Abdul Karim Telgi. The
verdict also said that the evidence procured under the effect of truth
serum is also admissible. In the course of the judgment, a distinction was
drawn between “statement” (made before a police officer) and “testimony”
(made under oath in court). The Judges, Justice Palshikar and Justice
Kakade, said that the lie-detector and the brain mapping tests did not
involve any “statement” being made and the statement made under narco
analysis was not admissible in evidence during trial. The judgment also
held that these tests involve “minimal bodily harm”.
VI. Narco-analysis of Moninder Singh Pandher, had started on Tuesday,
January 09, The narco-analysis test of the prime accused in the Noida
serial murder case Moninder Singh Pandher was conducted at the Directorate
of Forensic Laboratory. Pandher and Koli have been accused of serial
killing of women and children in Nithari village, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The Nodia police had brought Pandher and his servant Surendra Koli to DFS
on January 5 for forensic tests. The tests are expected to go on for
approximately eight hours, the sources said.
VI. A court in Kerala recently pronounced that no court order is required
to do a narco analysis, Disposing of a petition filed by the CBI seeking
permission of the court, the magistrate said that filing this type of a
plea would only delay the investigation. The court said nobody could stand
in the way of the investigating agency conducting tests recognized as
effective investigation tools. When the technicalities of the test itself
are not clear and uniform, it becomes difficult to accept the stand taken
by the court.
It is observed that since time immemorial science has been used in the
investigation of criminality of criminals as evidential proof in context
of crime commited by them like Forensic Science investigation. Now this
interference of science has taken monstrous form when this Narco Analysis
test are used in investigation of hardened criminals. While walking on the
path of technology we can not forget that we are human beings creation of
God not Robots. Memory is gift of God and science has no right to encroach
on that personal property. When we test the validity of this test on the
touchstone of Constitution, long established criminal jurisprudence and
rights of the accused then problem arises.
On one hand evidences are authentic, easy for the judges to inflict death
sentence, guilt is proved beyond all reasonable doubts and law should
change according to the need of time on the path of progress. But on the
other hand it is rape of the mind of the accused. It infringes the right
of accused of protection against self incrimination. Problem is that what
about traditional criminal jurisprudence which involves Cross Examination.
Is judiciary so weak that it allows for the rape of mind of accused? There
is already provision for access to personal documents, personal diaries,
DNA Tests and Forensic evidences; then now what more is required? No doubt
it has benefits thats why passive admission to it is given by all of our
judiciary. But question is can we withdraw two fundamental principles of
criminal jurisprudence (a)Right of accused against Self Incrimination (b)Right
to remain Silence. Every thing will be reversed which has been established
for last 100 years in criminal law. With the passage of time this evidence
will again be misused by lawyers then what method judiciary will discover?
This is a big question mark before our Indian Legal system.
Recently, University of Haifa has come up with a wonderful research with a
computerized handwriting tool which it claims can provide ease and
increases accuracy over common and verbal methods to detect a lie. They
evolved alternative to polygraph test. They have found that these
handwriting characteristics differ when an individual is in the process of
writing “deceptive” sentences as opposed to truthful lines. According to
researchers, the handwriting tool has the potential to replace, or work in
tandem, with popular, verbal-based lie detection technology such as
polygraph to ensure greater accuracy and objectivity in law enforcement
deception detection. The researcher observes that these handwriting tools
provides authenticity and accuracy over common and verbal methods. Our
judiciary must take these into consideration.
# Pradeep Kumar, Philosophy of Crime, Deep & Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd.,
# 'Science and Technology Studies', Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/science-and-technology-studies,
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# Retrieved from < http://www.abanet.org/scietech>, Visited on 9 March,
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# Retriever from <www.tawandscience.com/>, Visited on 9 March,2009.
# "Rape of the mind", Retrieved from <raghurama.sulekhar.com>,Visited on
20 Feb., 2009.
# Art. 20(3): 'A person can not be compelled to be a witness against
# Art. 21 of the Constitution of India.
# Teeku Dutta v. State, AIR 2004 Delhi 205(207).
# ‘Crime Scene Investigation’, Retrieved from <www.crime-scene-investigator.net>,
Visited on 5 March, 2009.
# Seventh Schedule of Indian Constitution provides for Institutions for
Scientific or Technical Education under entry 64, 65, 66 of List 1: Union
List of Constitution of India.
# Art. 51-A (h), The Constitution of India.
# Satyendra K. Kaul and Mohd. H. Zaidi, Narco Analysis,Brain
Mapping,Hyponsis & Lie Detector Tests in Investigation of Suspect, Alia
Law Agency, Allahabad,2008, pp. 109-110.
# Retrieved from<http://www.articlesbase.com/law_artcle/Narcoanalysis>,Visited
on 16 March,2009.
# Subhojyoti Acharya, “Is Narco Analysis a Reliable Science?”,Retrieved
from http://www.artclesbase.com/law_article/narcoanalysis, Visited on 16
# Op.cit, 14, Satyendra K. Kaul and Mohd. H. Zaidi, pp. 249-280.
# Vijay Kumar, “Narco Analysis,p 300 Tests: What Are These?”, Retrieved
from<http://www.rediffmail.com>,Visited on 17 March, 2009.
# T. Sunderramanthan, “Digging and Unearthing Truth: A True Test For the
Truth Serum”, The Journal of National Law University, Vol. 5, No. 1,
September, 2007, pp. 104-117.
# Art. 20(3) states: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against
himself in any criminal case”.
# Ketan Mukhija, “Right Against Self Incrimination: Questionning the
Ambit of the Constitutional Mandate”, Retrieved from<http://www.lectlaw.com>,
Visited on # 17 March, 2009.
# It Means: ‘No man, not even the accused himself can be compelled to
answer any question, which may tend to prove him guilty of a crime, he has
been accused of’.
# (1978) 2 SCC 424.
# Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
# Sheetal Asrani-Dann, “The Right to Privacy in the Era of Smart
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(2007) 8 SCC 770.
# “Lie Detection through handwriting! ”, The Hindu Business Line, August
30, 2009, p. 16.This research has been headed by Gil Luria and Sara
Rosenblum; which has been published in the latest edition of Applied
Cognitive Psychology Journal.
The author can be reached at: email@example.com
- Ph no: 098766-41727 /
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