Protesting wrestlers say ready for narco test: What is it, how does it work

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Source: The post is based on the article “Protesting wrestlers say ready for narco test: What is it, how does it work” published in the Indian Express on 25th May 2023

What is the News?

The wrestlers, protesting at Jantar Mantar, demanded the arrest of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and undergo a narco test. The President agreed to a narco test or any other lie-detector test, on the condition that some of the protesters undergo the same. In response, the wrestlers said that they are ready for the narco test if it is Supreme Court-monitored.

What is Narco test?

In a ‘narco’ or narco analysis test, a drug called sodium pentothal is injected into the body of the accused. This transports them to a hypnotic or sedated state in which their imagination is neutralised. In this hypnotic state, the accused is understood as being incapable of lying and is expected to divulge information that is true.

Narco analysis tests were notably used in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, the Abdul Karim Telgi fake stamp paper scam, the Nithari killings case in 2007, and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case on captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab.

Must read: What is a narco test and How it is different from Polygraph test?

What is the Supreme Court’s observation on Narco test?

In “Sh. Shailender Sharma vs State & Another” case, 2008, the court said that narco-analysis tests should not suffer from any constitutional infirmity and they are a “step in aid of investigation.”

In “Selvi & Ors vs State of Karnataka & Anr” case, 2010, the SC held that no lie detector tests should be administered “except on the basis of consent of the accused”. Those who volunteer must have access to a lawyer and have the physical, emotional, and legal implications of the test explained to them by the police and the lawyer. While conducting the Narco tests, the ‘Guidelines for the Administration of Polygraph Test on an Accused’, published by the National Human Rights Commission in 2000, must be strictly followed.

Accordingly, the court declined narco-analysis tests on a former staffer of Punjab National Bank (PNB), who was in custody in the alleged Rs 7,000 crore fraud. But allowed the Delhi Police to conduct a narco test on Aaftab Poonawalla as he consented to the test.

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