The term “Narco” was coined by Horsley, and it derived from Greek word “anesthesia”. The narco-analysis test also known as Truth-serum or drug hypnosis.
A diagnostic and psychotherapeutic technique that uses psychotropic medicines. Hypnosis is induced by using barbiturates or other psychotropic medicine as a mean of releasing repress feeling.
Narco-analysis is a procedure of investigation of mental content of a person done after application of light general anesthetic drugs. This investigative technique is grounded on the principle that at a point very close to unconsciousness, the subject would be mentally unable of resistance to questioning, and unable of contriving falsehood that he has used to conceal his guilt. It involves administration of light anesthetic agents or medicines intravenously.
The drugs that are generally employed during the procedure of Narco-analysis are Scopolamine hydro bromide, Sodium secnol, Benzodiazepines and Thiopentone sodium or Sodium pentothal.
The drugs when induced intravenously cause the individual to enter into several phases of anaesthesia. When the individual passes into the hypnotic stage or the sub-conscious state, he or she becomes less inhibited and is more likely to disclose the information which the individual has concealed and which would generally not be revealed when the individual is in the conscious state. The individual or the subject may also disclose all his/her fantasies, personal wishes, impulses, instinctual drive, misapprehensions, delusions, conflicts, misinterpretations, etc.
First narcotic test is performed by Dr. Robert House in year 1922 using drug scopolamine.
STAFF REQUIRED IN NARCO-ANALYSIS TEST
- Audio recorder
- Video recorder
- Forensic psychologist
- Supporting staff
STEPS INVOLVED IN NARCOANALYSIS TEST
- PRE-TEST INTERVIEW
- PRE-NARCO STATE INTERVIEW
- SEMI-NARCO STATE INTERVIEW
- POST – TEST INTERVIEW
PRE-TEST INTERVIEW: In this step, the informed is consent from the individual and the procedure regarding the procedure of the whole test. The physician records the normal routine checkup of the individual going under the interview.
PRE-NARCO STATE INTERVIEW: In this step, anesthetist induces the psychotropic medicine and maintain the narcotic state throughout the interview.
Drug i.e. sodium pentothal is introduced intravenously. 5 % to 10% solution of drug induced slowly.
As the individual speech seemed slowed and slurred, interview begins.
SEMI-NARCO STATE INTERVEW: After introducing narco drug, the following symptoms appeared:
- Slurred speech
Forensic psychologist starts the interview questions.
POST- TEST INTERVIEW: After the session is over, the individual is allowed to rest. Complete session is audio-video recorded. Memory is checked.
CASES WHERE NARCO-ANALYSIS TEST HAS BEEN USED:
- Nithari murder case
- Aarushi case
- Bhavri devi case
The major disadvantage of Narco-analysis is that some individuals are able to maintain their capability to mislead even in the hypnotic state, while others can become extremely suggestible to questioning. This is especially worrying, since investigators may execute questions in a manner that may prompt incriminatory answers.
Also, in case the individual undergoing Narco-analysis takes or abuses intoxicants or drugs then a degree of “cross-tolerance” could occur. Therefore in an attempt for analysis, wrong dose may be given to subject and put the subject in coma or may even cause death.
The drugs don’t guarantee that the subject will speak only the reality. The statements given or spoken by the subject in the state of hypnosis are not voluntary because the person undergoing the test is not in a clear state of mind and that’s why, these haven’t been admitted by the Court of Law as evidence.
Medico-legal Aspects of Narco-analysis
It is said that doing Narco-analysis violates the established principles of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.
Article 20(3) of Indian constitution states that:
“No person accused of any offences shall be compelled to be witness against himself.”
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