Friday, May 7, 2010

Forced narco tests illegal: SC

Death Warrant For Narco-Analysis, Polygraph & Brain-Mapping

The Supreme Court on Wednesday held as unconstitutional narco-analysis, polygraph and brain electrical activation profile or brain-mapping tests, in a blow to cops who were increasingly using the procedures as investigation tools.
In an order which virtually spells the demise of the practices which have become popular with cops, the SC said they cannot be used even on those accused of serial killings and bomb blasts as they are violative of fundamental right of a citizen not to incriminate himself and his right to privacy under Articles 20(3) and 21 of the Constitution, respectively.
“No individual should be forcibly subjected to any of these techniques in question, whether in the context of investigation in any criminal cases or otherwise,” the apex court said.
On the face of it, the development is a jolt to investigators, considering that the tests in question have fetched them leads leading to breakthroughs in serious cases, including terror-related ones. But not every policeman was happy with the reliance on these unorthodox methods which led investigators to neglect more rigorous methods whose results would clear legal scrutiny. Some investigators often found statements made by the accused undergoing tests as flights of fancy which sent them on wild goose chases.
“The compulsory administration of any of these techniques is an unjustified intrusion into the mental privacy of an individual. It would also amount to ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ with regard to the language of evolving international human rights norms,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal.

No comments:

Post a Comment