Supreme Court declares Narco, Polygraph and Brain Mapping unconstitutional.

May 22nd, 20103:50 am @    

every-human-rightsSupreme Court of India has declared Narcoanalysis, Polygraph test and Brain Mapping unconstitutional and violative of human rights few days back. This decision is quite unfavourable to various investigation authorities as it will be a hindrance to furtherance of investigation and many alleged criminals will escape conviction with this new position. But the apex court further said that a person can only be subjected to such tests when he/she assents to them. The result of tests will not be admissible as evidence in the court but can only be used for furtherance of investigation.

With advancement in technology coupled with neurology, Narcoanalysis, Polygraph test and Brain mapping emerged as favourite tools of investigation agencies around the world for eliciting truth from the accused. But eventually voices of dissent were heard from human rights organizations and people subjected to such tests. They were labelled as atrocity to human mind and breach of right to privacy of an individual.

The hon’ble bench headed by CJI K. G. Balkrishnan accepted that the tests in question are violative of Article 20 (3), which lays down that a person cannot be forced to give evidence against himself. Court also directed the investigation agencies that the directives by National Human Rights Commission should be adhered to strictly while conducting the tests.

These tests were put to use in many cases previously, Arushi Talwar murder Case, Nithari killings Case, Abdul Telagi Case, Abu Salem Case, Pragya Thakur (Bomb blast Case) etc being ones which generated lot of public interest.

What is Narcoanalysis?


Amobarbital, one of chemical compounds that can be used as a "truth drug"

A special type of chemical compound is used for conducting Narco test. It is a psychoactive substance which is also known as the truth drug. A person is put to artificial sleep like state, where the stimulative portion of brain ceases to function for the time being. In such a state a person is incapable of creating fiction. It was first used by Dr. William Bleakven in the year 1930. Since then it has been put to use on people who do not want to tell the truth. When a person is put to artificially induced sleep by administration of the particular substance and then interrogated, it is known as Narcoanalysis.

What is Polygraph Test?


Polygraph results are sometimes recorded on a chart recorder

A Polygraph machine is an instrument which is capable of measuring and recording a person’s heartbeats, blood pressure, breathing patterns, skin temperature, pulse rate, etc. Initially a person interrogated on very obvious questions and his various bodily reactions are recorded. This initial record is considered as a scale against which his reaction to other probatory questions is measured. When a person tries to lie, his bodily reactions start modulating. This becomes a ground for demarcating truth from fiction.

What is Brain Mapping?

Brain mapping has developed with the help of neurosciences. The degree of truth is ascertained on the basis of imagery of brain. Like data processing and analysis, an outline of behaviour of different parts of brain is drawn.

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Nikita is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is a lawyer/author residing in Delhi. She believes that increasing legal awareness is the key to ensure social justice and simplification of law is the means to achieve it. She writes articles on social and political issues for various platforms in English and Hindi.

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