Narco Analysis and Article 20(3)

Topics: Self-incrimination, Supreme Court of the United States, Sodium thiopental Pages: 10 (2615 words) Published: October 18, 2013
The National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

Narco Analysis and
Protection Under
Article 20(3)
Medical Jurisprudence Project

Alok Padman Roll No 508 VIII SEMESTER

Medical
Jurisprudence
Project

Narco Analysis and Protection Under Article 20(3)

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my acknowledgement to all those who helped me during the course of writing this article. First of all I thank God Almighty, without whose blessings this article would not have been materialized. I am also obliged to Ms. Veena Rohan, and Dr. Ajay B for giving me the opportunity to work on this article. I offer my sincere thanks to the librarian of National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Cochin, for the able guidance.

Medical
Jurisprudence
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Narco Analysis and Protection Under Article 20(3)

What is Narco-Analysis?
In India at Forensic Science Laboratories in Bangalore and Gujarat, Narco Analysis is conducted by injecting 3 grams of sodium pentothal dissolved in 300 ml of distilled water and this prepared solution is administered intravenously along with dextrose over a period of 3 hours with the help of anaesthetist. Obviously this test has some invasion on the body. The rate of administration is so controlled to drive the suspect slowly into the state of hypnotic trance. The ECG and blood pressure are monitored continuously throughout the testing procedure. The revelations made during the hypnotic trance are recorded both in video and audio cassettes. The questions are designed carefully and are repeated persistently in order the ambiguities during drum interrogation. The report prepared by the experts is useful in the process of collecting the evidence. A person is able to lie by using his imagination. In the Narco Analysis Test, the subject enters into a “twilight” stage i.e. a stage between consciousness and unconsciousness. In this state, it becomes difficult for him to lie and his answers would be restricted to facts he is already aware of. Prior to the test, Court‟s permission and written consent of subject is secured which are mandatory for conducting the test. The procedure is explained to the subjects. The test is conducted only in the presence of forensic and medical experts. Narco Analysis is conducted by intravenously injecting Sodium Pentothal into the bloodstream; it is an ultrafast-acting anesthetic and acts within 45 seconds of being injected. There are 4 stages to this process of anesthesia. The aim in narco analysis is to keep the person in the second stage where an appropriate dose of the chemical is maintained where the person is partly conscious and loses his inbuilt inhibitions which could

Medical
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Narco Analysis and Protection Under Article 20(3)

allow him to lie successfully. Therefore, under the effect of this chemical, the person is not only induced into a trance like state, but is also induced into speaking the truth. This is based on the fundamental assumption that the cortical portion of the brain is responsible for our ability to lie and Sodium Pentothal affects this portion thus successfully impairing the ability to lie; this assumption however, has no concrete scientific basis. The effects of the second stage are reversible; an overdose of the chemical form this stage could lead the victim to be unconscious and send him into the 3rd or 4th stage of anesthesia, the latter being irreversible and leading to a coma or death.

NARCO ANALYSIS SESSION IN PROGRESS

Article 20(3) of the Indian Constitution reads,

“(3) No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”

SELF INCRIMINATION DOCTRINE AND THE
RIGHT TO SILENCE

Medical
Jurisprudence
Project

Narco Analysis and Protection Under Article 20(3)

The right against „Self Incrimination‟ when it applies is an absolute right and is subject to no exceptions.A review of this right leads us to the traditional...
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