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10 Sep 2017

Accused can't volunteer for narco test, rules SC

The SC's stand on the narco test

The SC has ruled that an accused in a criminal case cannot insist on a narco test to prove innocence. Investigating agencies have the right to gather evidence as they can.

On two HC verdicts saying the accused can volunteer, the SC said it will examine those cases.

Seven years ago, the court had ruled that the test can't be forced on an accused.

In context

The SC's stand on the narco test

What is a narco test?

In a narco test, sedatives are given to a person to put them in a hypnotic-like state; it is presumed in such a state, they cannot lie. Specific questions are asked. Results of narco tests can't be used as standalone evidence, only as supportive proof.

The test has given more hits than misses


The test has given more hits than misses

There have been several instances when narco tests have failed. In the 2004 fake stamp paper case, accused Abdul Karim Telgi claimed during the test that he had made payments to leading politicians.

Then Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal had to quit, but his claims could never be verified.

Even in the Aarushi murder case, tests on her parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar remained inconclusive.

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What was the current petition in the SC about?

The SC's recent verdict came on a petition by Sidhu Yadav, who has been accused of sexually abusing a minor. Yadav has claimed innocence.

His counsel repeatedly requested a narco test, but the SC refused, saying "the court cannot order the mode and method of probe".

"Tomorrow, he may ask for polygraph test. Then there will be no end to trials," it said.

The case against Sidhu Yadav


The case against Sidhu Yadav

Yadav was charged under the POCSO Act after an NGO filed a complaint of sexual abuse. The alleged victim claimed in his statement that Yadav had molested him.

On examination of his mobile phone, cops had found no activity at the time of the alleged crime, but Sidhu claimed otherwise.

Earlier, the Delhi HC had dismissed his appeal for the test.

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