In December 2007, the Supreme Court deliberated upon the question as to whether conducting a narco-analysis test is constitutional and violative of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution; the arguments were concluded in january and the judgment is not out yet. Its been more than 11 months since and what we have seen is an unprecedented increase in the number of people these tests are conducted on. Every time there is a high profile case, the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or the ATS (Anti- Terrorism Squad) proceeds to conduct the test with an aim to get out some information.
Fortunately, most of these tests haven’t succeeded in getting out information, and in the cases where they have; they’ve been at the cost of infringing the protection against self- incrimination and the right to life and privacy. Every major democracy in the world has declared this test unconstitutional on the above grounds and we in India more often than not quote Dershowitz’s ticking time bomb example to justify this test; “If it helps to save the bomb, its all right”.
In an attempt to make this a short post, I shall end as a question for us to ponder;
Considering that narco-analysis does violate the rights of the accused, is it right to suggest that even though these rights are violated by the test, in order to protect the society they must be performed?
PS: I had the good fortune of working with Mr. Andhyarujina on this case in the Supreme Court and would be putting forth detailed arguments in time.