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Narco-Analysis Test : A Boon or A Bane

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                 NAME OF AUTHOR :          ARPITA SINGH,

                                                                AKARSH DAYAL

                                                                SECOND SEMESTER LLB(H)-2016-19



                 UNIVERSITY :                      GALGOTIAS UNIVERSITY


                 EMAIL.ID:                   ,      





Law is dynamic and not static and therefore, as society evolves, law has to keep in consonance with the changing social order. Law is the instrument of societal change and the judiciary has the responsibility of interpreting the law for the greater good.1Therefore, it is clear that the judicial mind must stay in touch and keep in step with the advancement of humanity. To combat organized crime, its detection, investigation and prevention method have to be employed synchronously.2 If the criminals use new technology in committing the crimes, the enforcement agencies have to be used to the new techniques in solving such crimes. If the enforcement agencies do not use these new technologies for solving such complicated the crimes, it would be very difficult to detect the perpetrators of such crimes. Therefore, in the context of the changing organized modern criminal who are taking shelters behind and making full use of new sophisticated technologies .Krishna Iyyer J. Remarked, “the? Courts self-criminate themselves if they keep the gates partly open for culprit to flee the justice under the guise of interpretative enlargement of golden rule of criminal jurisprudence3.

Across the globe, methods of law enforcement are witnessing colossal changes with progress in science and technology. The contemporary society needs recent scientific methods of crime recognition, in case the general public go unprotected. There are several methods for crime investigation to detect lying and deception by suspect and accused. Most of the techniques are founded on torture, either physical or mental.  But  modern  techniques  like  Polygraph  and  brain–mapping  test  are  noninvasive method that will detect deception without causing physical or mental injury To the subject.4 Methods of investigation are witnessing rapid shifts with the amalgamation of scientific techniques and criminal procedure. Scientific techniques are necessary for proving the guilt as well as innocence of the accused.5   as science

1     Philosophy propounded by Jeremy Bentham and John StuArticle Mills.

2     Nathuni Yadav v. State of Bihar (1998)9 SCC 238 at 242.

3     Nandini Sathpathy v. P.L. Dani & Anr. AIR 1978 SC 1025 at 1032.

4     Dr. B. Umadethan,”Medico-legal Aspects of Narco-Analysis”2 Nual Law Journal 21 (2008).

5     Anjaneya Das and Arun Kumar “Narco-analysis and the shifting paradigms of art. 20(3): A

comment of Selvi v. State of Karnataka” 37 Indian Journal of Criminology 120 (2009).

has outpaced the development of law or at least the laymen’s understanding of it, there is inevitable difficulty concerning what can be acknowledged as proof in court. Narco-Analysis  is  one  such  scientific  progress  that  has  become  an  increasingly perhaps alarmingly, common in India.6

Narcosis is a state of stupor induced by drugs. The use of narcotics as a therapeutic aid in psychiatry was limited to the use of opium for mental disorder by the early Egyptians. J.Stephen Horsely introduced the term “Narco-Analysis” in 1936 for the use of narcotics to induce a trances like state in which the patient talks freely and intensive psychotherapy may be applied. Now days psychoanalytical and narcoanalytical tests are carried out to interpret the behavior of the suspect, accused

person or the criminals.7

The term Narco-Analysis though a misnomer is becoming very popular in law enforcement and judicial circle. Abreaction is a method of psycho-analysis practiced by psychiatrist, where in a short acting narcotic drug is administered to the patient to induce a hypnotic stage.8 Narco-Analysis is thus a mode of psychotherapy which is an aid to the scientific interrogation in reality. It is a process whereby a person is put to sleep  or  into  semi-conscious  state  by  means  of  chemical  injection  and  then interrogated while in this dream like state. It is the view of the scientist who conducts the Narco-Analysis test on the person who is suspect, that in semi-conscious state person losses self-control and speak truth.9


Generally it is viewed that if a drug is given to person which repress his power to reasoning without affecting the memory and speak, it is possible to make him to speak truth. The underlying theory is that a person is able to lie by using his imagination, but due to the influence of drug a person losses his self-control as a result of which he fails to imagine the fact and would speak the truth.  In this state it is very difficult for him to tell lies, rather he would talk about which he had the knowledge. The utilization of such drug in police work or interrogation is alike to the traditional[pic 1]

6 (Visited on date 22-02-2011).

7     Deepak Ratan and Mohd. Hasan, Zaidi, Forensic Science in India and the World 357 (Allahabad

Law Agency, Allahabad, edn. 2008).

8     Supra 4, 22.

9     Ibid.

psychiatric practice of Narco- Analysis and the only difference in the two procedures is the difference in the objectives.10

A new terminology had been added in the field of Criminal investigation through forensic science in the year 1936 which is known as Narco-Analysis test.11

The term ‘Narco-Analysis’ is derived from the Greek word Narco (meaning “anesthesia” or “torpor”) and is used to describe  diagnostic and psychotherapeutic techniques that used psychotropic drugs ,particularly barbiturates to induce  a stupor in which mental element with strong associated effect come to the surface, where they can be exploited by the therapist .12 It is also known as drug hypnosis or a truth serum or a combination of hypnosis or narcosis .Thus it is method to make human thought and communication manageable.13According to Webster Dictionary, “Narco-Analysis means psycho analysis in a state which is similar to sleep and this state is achieved by use of drugs. These drugs are known as ‘truth drugs’ or ‘truth serum’.”

Narco-Analysis test is also known as “truth Serum test”. They are the drugs sometimes used clinically.  Some of them are secondly, Oscine (scopolamine), Sodium Penthonol, Sodium Amythal and Phenobarbital. These drugs produce a state of  semi-consciousness  in  the  subject  and  the  reasoning  faculty of  the  individual becomes ineffective. These drugs works on the principle of inhibiting the thought filtration procedure of the brain. The principle behind this is that when we lie, our

          10   Critical Study on validity of Narco-Analysis with reference to Article 20(3) of the Indian

Constitution available at on date 12-11-2013).

11   Gujarat Law Herald sponsored by the Bar Council of Gujarat, 2009(2), 44.

12   Robert house, a Texas obstetrician used the drug scopolamine on two prisoner in 1922.

13   Naresh  Kumar  and  Ved  Pal  Singh,Narco-Analysis test  in  investigation  process:  Law  and judiciary” XIV, MDU Law Journl108 (2009).

thoughts are filter by the brain and decides by the brain what is to be exposed and what has to be unrevealed. By application of this procedure a person can no longer sift his idea and to speak the truth, or so is supposed.14


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