What Is Narco Test? Will It Bring A New Twist In Shraddha Walker Murder Case?


Aaftab Amin Poonawala, who killed his live-in partner Shraddha Walker and chopped her body into 35 pieces, was nabbed by police after being caught in his fabricated story

New Delhi: A Saket court has ordered a Narco test for Aftab Amin Poonawalla in the Shraddha murder case. The Narco test is a specialized examination and an advanced tool for interrogation. The court permitted police to conduct the test after Poonawalla consented, telling the judge he was aware of the consequences. Aaftab Amin Poonawalla killed his live-in partner Shraddha Walker and chopped her body into 35 pieces. He was nabbed by police after being caught in his fabricated story.

What Is Narco Test?

In a ‘narco’ or narcoanalysis test, a drug called sodium pentothal is injected into the body of the accused. After being injected the drug moves them into a hypnotic or sedated state. After being injected their imagination is neutralized. In this hypnotic state, the accused is thought to be incapable of lying and is expected to reveal genuine information.

The test involves the intravenous administration of a drug (such as sodium pentothal, scopolamine, and sodium amytal). after these drugs are administrated into the person’s body, the person enters into various stages of anaesthesia.

Investigative agencies use this method when other shreds of evidence are insufficient or are unable to give them a crystal clear picture in big cases. The dose of the injected substance is decided as per the person’s sex, age, health, and physical condition. The person is injected with the drugs in presence of doctors only.

A video is recorded of the questioning after drugs are administered to a person’s body. The report prepared by the expert is used in the process of collecting evidence. The procedure is conducted at a government hospital, after a court order permitting the same.

Sodium pentothal or sodium thiopental is anaesthesia given to patients in larger doses during surgeries. It is a drug that acts on the central nervous system as a depressant.

It is believed that the drug weakens the subject’s resolve to lie, and hence is referred to as a “truth serum.”

The Supreme Court had ruled that the Narco test or Polygraph and Brain Mapping tests cannot be used on a person without his or her consent. The Supreme Court had given this verdict while responding to petitions questioning the validity of such tests, are illegal and a violation of personal liberty.

Also Read: The Aftab-Shraddha Saga: How Aftab’s Concocted Story Was Exposed

Normally, the results of such tests are not acceptable or valid, especially as evidence in a court of law. In some cases when the court thinks that the facts and nature of the case permit accepting test results, only then they are accepted.

Why Is The Narco Test Or Polygraph Test Conducted?

In recent decades, the probe agencies conduct these tests after seeking permission from the court. Sometimes it is considered a softer alternative for third-degree or torture to extract the truth.

Scientifically neither of the methods is proven to have a 100% success rate.

In Which Cases These Tests Have Been Conducted?

  1. The CBI had requested that these tests be administered to the driver and helper of the truck that collided with the vehicle transporting the Unnao rape victim in Uttar Pradesh in July 2019.
  2. Indrani Mukerjea, who is on trial for allegedly murdering her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012, offered to take the lie detector test in May 2017. The CBI refused, claiming that they already had enough evidence against her.
  3. Polygraph tests were administered to Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar, who were accused of murdering their daughter Aarushi and assisting Hemraj in Noida in 2008. A video of the narco test on Krishna, their compounder, was leaked to the media.
  4. The CBI intended to conduct polygraph and narcoanalysis tests on a former Punjab National Bank (PNB) employee who was in prison in the suspected Rs 7,000-crore fraud involving absconding jewelers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in August 2019. Gokulnath Shetty, the manager, rejected permission.
  5. The Narco test was notably used in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, the Abdul Karim Telgi fake stamp paper scam, and the Nithari killings case in 2007. It was also used on terrorist Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks case.
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