DDT: A boon or bane?

Author: Tushti Pande, 3rd Year, B.Com LL.B (Hons), School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal. Introduction: DDT is the deception detection test as the name itself suggest it is the test which is being conducted by deceiving the person it includes narco-analysis, brain mapping, polygraph test etc. these methods are being used to find out the concealed information which can help in a case to find out the real culprit or any evidence. It is a scientific method which is used by the investigating agencies to find out the real facts but the whole process is a waste since these are not being accepted by the courts, they do not regard it as an evidence. If we compare DDT with other method which is used for gathering information that is third degree the DDT method is safer and the investigating agencies can gather true information and this will help in increasing both prosecution and acquittal rate. Although use of DDT methods are not declined by the apex court but the court has stated that it can be used only with the consent of person on whom it is to be applied.[1] The use of this method is complicated, arbitrary and is still in confusion because the Evidence Act is silent on it, Constitution of India do not support this kind of process and the courts agree upon the use of it in complicated cases and therefore till date its status is unclear. Debate: The question which arises is the legality of using this method for the confession of crime? But the other problem is if the person is not ready to confess the crime at any cost then what should the police do? If they will use third degree method then the confession made will not be acceptable as the confession made to police is not acceptable, if they go for DDT methods then consent of the person is required now the question is that if person is not confessing the crime then why will he consent for DDT methods. So ultimately if no options are left for the police and investigating agencies to find out the accused then how will they find the accused. Constitutionality and other legal provisions related to DDT: Fundamental rights are the supreme rights for the citizens although they are subject to certain limitation but violation of fundamental right is a crime and state cannot do that instead state has a duty to protect the rights of the citizens. Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India states that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself and the use of DDT methods are violating this provision since that are a kind of confession made by the persons. Right to silence which is actually right against forced self-incrimination is there under Constitution of India and Code of Criminal Procedure. As per section 161(2) of code of criminal procedure the persons are bound to answer truthfully to the question asked by police officers unless the answer to that exposes them to criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture and as per article 21 of Constitution of India use of DDT test is a mental torture to the person and is violating his/her privacy. In Nandini Sathpathy v. P.L. Dani[2] it was held that no one can be forced to extract statement from the person who has right to keep silence, and the use of DDT methods are a kind of forcible intrusion into one’s mind and therefore is hindering the right to silence and therefore the use of these methods is violative of fundamental right. Judgments on DDT: In the earlier judgments regarding DDT the court has held that it the use of narco analysis or DDT test are just the aid in investigation process.[3] This also helps in the further investigation process. For the need and benefit of society at large the use of DDT is not prohibited but this should be ensured that constitutional rights are not being infringed. In recent judgement also the use of the involuntary administration of DDT for the purpose of improving the quality of evidence was questioned on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights such as article 20(3) right against self-incrimination and article 21 right to privacy[4]. The issues related to violation of human rights was raised and due to which Nation Human Rights Commission had published guidelines in 2000.[5] Practice of DDT in India: In India the DDT is being conducted in rare case and that to with a team which comprises of anesthesiologist, psychiatrist, forensic physiologist, audio videographer, nursing staff. The eleven-judge bench held that self-incrimination means giving information to the person on the basis of personal knowledge and is not merely the mechanical process of producing documents or other evidence.[6] also the apex court held in another case that executives are not allowed to interfere in the process of constitutional rights and remedies and if without any proper law there is an interference in fundamental right it should be regarded as unconstitutional.[7] Scientific aspect of DDT: 1. Narco-analysis: Under this testing method the person is not in conscious state of mind and therefore speaks out fantasies wishes etc. and therefore his right to privacy is hindered, but in this method also some people are able to retain their ability to deceive. And the important thing to be taken into consideration is that there is no guarantee that the drug will make person speak the truth. 2. Polygraph: This is a lie detector test technique, the technique behind the test is that when one speaks lie he is more concerned and due to which hyper-arousal state is created which is picked up by the machine but the problem in this technique is that the hyper arousal state may be created out of nervousness, fear, anxiety and not out of telling lie. There are some person who can control this hyper arousal through relaxation, mediation etc. 3. Brain mapping: In India this test is commonly known as Brain Electrical Activation Profile Test. Under this test the brain generates a unique wave pattern when person encounter with familiar stimulus. This method only gives information related to crime scene. The drawback under this method is that the person who has witnessed the crime can be considered as accused because the brain will generate a unique wave as he is familiar to the situation.[8] Conclusion: Now to answer the title after the analysis of topic on scientific basis, practical basis, on the basis of judicial dictas, on the basis of law etc. it can be concluded that DDT is a boon and a bane because there are both pros and cons of this technique but the legal fraternity can make it a boon if this technique is used after taking into consideration all the laws such as prior consent of the person etc. and scientific basis. But this should be used in rare cases where no other evidence is there to reach the criminal and also this should not be considered as conclusive proof this should be backed by other evidences so that the drawbacks which we have dealt in scientific basis can be curbed. References: [1] Smt. Selvi & Ors Vs State of Karnataka, (2010) 7 SCC 263 (India) [2] Nandini Sathpathy v. P.L. Dani, AIR 1978 SC 1025 (India) [3] Sh. Shailender Sharma v. State, 169 (2010) DLT 563 (India) [4] Smt. Selvi & Ors Vs State of Karnataka, (2010) 7 SCC 263 (India) [5] Pradeep Kumar Singh, Narco analysis test and law in India, Madhavuniversity, (April 17, 2020 10:14 am) https://madhavuniveriy.edu.in/narco-analysis-test.html [6] State of Bombay v. Kathikalu, AIR 1961 SC 1808 (India) [7] Ram Jawaya Kapur v. State of Punjab, AIR 1955 SC 549 (India) [8] Suresh Bada Math, Supreme Court judgment on polygraph, narco-analysis & brain-mapping: A boon or a bane, Ncbi, (April 17, 2020 11:30 am), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3171915/ DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions as expressed in the Research Articles are solely of the author and any member core team of the website shall not be liable for the same.

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