Today’s (6th May, 2010) news in Times of India on the Supreme Court of India declaring the subjection of the accused to narco analysis test, without his consent, as ILLEGAL, restores human PRIDE & DIGNITY. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Verdict-splits-cops-forensic-scientists-into-rival-camps/articleshow/5895908.cms )
There are many tools used to arrive at the FACTS before TRUTH is distilled and presented to the courts. One of the commonly used tools now-a-days is the narco test. There is nothing new about this being used to arrive at facts. Certain facts could be gathered and those facts have to be corroborated with independent facts before the courts, for those narco tests to be of some value.
When the person is subjected to NARCO ANALYSIS, firstly the accused’s “person” is violated without his FREE CONSENT. He is injected with drugs which he may not be willing to be administered with, in the first place.
Let us take a specific example, I know of some extreme Christians who do NOT take medicines at all. They go by the name PENTECOSTAL and APOSTOLIC fellowships. They had taken a religious vow not to take any MEDICINES even unto DEATH. Do not they have a RIGHT, a fundamental one at that, as an Indian citizen to make a vow like that? I believe, they do have the right, as guaranteed by the constitution, and therefore the STATE should do everything to PROTECT that right.
Secondly, the RIGHT TO PRIVACY, both physical and mental. Every human being is given an inalienable, indefeasible RIGHT to have MENTAL PRIVACY. There are domains in the sub-conscious which are not known to the UNAWARE, and domains within the CONSCIOUS mind which are “private”. Merely because an Investigating agency in its opinion believes that there is something which is hidden with or without the knowledge of the ACCUSED, does it gain a RIGHT to destroy the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution of India? I GUESS NOT. The Supreme court has DECLARED that every INDIAN CITIZEN’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY CANNOT BE DESTROYED IN THE BOGUS ALTAR OF COLLECTING EVIDENCE!
We have been witnesses to many of the statements made by senior police officers ( eg. in Aarushi’s case a sardar DIG said that Aarushi’s reputation was not beyond doubt, when he was not called upon to give an opinion on that!) who have EXERCISED POWER more than subjecting themselves to bringing out the TRUTHS. If they could say such things so openly in front of cameras, what protection of RIGHTS could one expect from them? They are not TRAINED to work around the rights guaranteed, but TRAMPLE upon them – ALL IN THE NAME OF FINDING OUT THE TRUTH!!
Thirdly, I had seen some videos which were telecast showing suspects under narco tests in the Aarushi murder case. The questions asked during the session were questions asked by an amateur, with no opening up of the mind. What kind of treatment the suspects are subjected to, is NOT made available to the accused’s relatives and friends immediately upon conclusion.
Let us look at it this way- if the NARCO ANALYSIS brings out incontrovertible TRUTHS and FACTS, why not record the statements in the presence of a judicial magistrate? to ensure that atleast the accused is treated FAIRLY. The scientific opinion is divided on, as to whether all which are stated during NARCO tests, are TRUE or figments of a person’s FANCY.
IN ANY CASE- I AS AN INDIAN, AM HAPPY THAT THE SC OF INDIA HAS CATEGORICALLY RULED OUT FORCED NARCO TESTS. MY ONLY APPREHENSION IS THAT, THE POLICE DO NOT TAKE FORCED CONSENT IN FUTURE TO PERVERT THE SC JUDGEMENT.