Narco Analysis, Torture and Democratic Rights

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Every year PUDR organizes a Dr Ramantham memorial lecture on a topic of contemporary interest.

In 2007 the focus was on the issue of Narco Analysis. THe present report is the outcome of that meeting. It contains some issues raised by PUDR on is understanding on law related to Narco analysis being carried out in India. This folowed by a paper by Amar Jesani focussing on the role of doctors in this context, examining the Science of narco-analysis such as lie detection methods,Brain mapping and brain finger-printing, Scientific review of lie-detection methods, Narco-analysis, Narco-analysis and hypnotic suggestions, Narco-analysis and torture and lastly Doctors, ethics and narco-analysis. THe second paper was presented by Rakesh Shukla, an active member of PUDR and a Supreme Court lawyer by profession on Narco - Analysis and Law: A critical look. He concluded in his paper that the use of narco-analysis as an investigative tool or as evidence is violative of the right to life, liberty and the right against self-incrimination. Viewed from the point of view of criminal trials,the unreliability of the procedure and the impact of the drugs on the psyche may result in miscarriage of justice and conviction of innocent persons. The logic of ‘minimal bodily harm’ being permissible for extraction of information offered for upholding narco-analysis has grave implications as to the use of coercive third-degree methods specially in the context of growing curbs on rights in the name of tackling terrorism. The democratic rights movement must take up a sustained campaign against the use of invasive methods like narcoanalysis and brain-mapping.

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