A.G. Noorani and South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre

in Challenges to Civil Rights Guarantees in India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780198074144
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080823 | DOI:

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After almost a decade of upholding the use of narcoanalysis by criminal investigation agencies, the Indian judiciary has finally recognised and condemned its abusive nature. In Smt. Selvi & Ors v. State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court called for a ban on all involuntary administration of narcoanalysis and the withholding in court of all evidence directly obtained from even voluntary administration of the tests. The scientific validity of narcoanalysis and the reliability of its results have long been controversial. This chapter shows that the use of narcoanalysis is not only ineffective in obtaining truthful information, but also violates fundamental civil rights protected by international law and the Indian Constitution. It also argues that the test violates the rights against self-incrimination and the right to life and personal liberty.

Keywords: Supreme Court; narcoanalysis; criminal investigation; evidence; civil rights; Constitution; self-incrimination; personal liberty; right to life

Chapter.  16190 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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