Constitutional Validity of Narco Analysis

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Constitutional validity of Narcoanalysis issue has received considerable attention since it involves tensions between the desirability of efficient investigation and the preservation of individual liberties. Therefore, we must examine the implications of permitting the use of the impugned techniques in a variety of settings. Objections have been raised in respect of instances where individuals who are the accused, suspects or witnesses in an investigation have been subjected to these tests without their consent. Such measures have been defended by citing the importance of extracting information which could help the investigating agencies to prevent criminal activities in the future as well as in circumstances where it is difficult to gather evidence through ordinary means. In some of the impugned judgments, reliance has been placed on certain provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to refer back to the responsibilities placed on citizens to fully co-operate with investigation agencies. It has also been urged that administering these techniques does not cause any bodily harm and that the extracted information will be used only for strengthening investigation efforts and will not be admitted as evidence during the trial stage. The assertion is that improvements in fact-finding during the investigation stage will consequently help to increase the rate of prosecution as well as the rate of acquittal. Yet another line of reasoning is that these scientific techniques are a softer alternative to the regrettable and allegedly widespread use of `third degree methods' by investigators. The involuntary administration of the impugned techniques prompts questions about the protective scope of the `right against self-incrimination' which finds place in Article 20(3) of our Constitution. In one of the impugned judgments, it has been held that the information extracted through methods such as `polygraph examination'...
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