S.O.S e - Voice For Justice - e-news weekly
Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.11..Issue.43........24/10/2015
TORTURE BY DOCTORS
Even medical professionals , dotors lie , give false medical reports. , forensic reports thus facilitating the escape of rich crooks and meting out unjust punishment to innocents. The courts of law depends on medical reports as sacrosanct and awards punishment to innocents letting out rich crooks.
Medical torture describes the involvement and sometimes active participation of medical professionals in acts of torture, either to judge what victims can endure, to apply treatments which will enhance torture, or as torturers in their own right. Medical torture may be called medical interrogation if it involves the use of their expert medical knowledge to facilitate interrogation or corporal punishment, in the conduct of torturous human experimentation or in providing professional medical sanction and approval for the torture of prisoners. Medical torture also covers torturous scientific (or pseudo-scientific) experimentation upon unwilling human subjects.
Doctors from both non-democratic and democratic countries are involved in torture. The majority of doctors involved in torture are doctors at risk. Doctors at risk might compromise their ethical duty towards patients for the following possible reasons: individual factors (such as career, economic or ideological reasons), threats, orders from a higher ranking officer, political initiatives, working in atrocity-producing situations or dual loyalty. In dual loyalty conflicts, factors that might compromise doctors' ethical obligations towards detainees/patients are: ideological totalitarianism, moral disengagement, victim blame, patriotism, individual factors or threats. Another important reason why doctors are involved in torture is that not all doctors are trained in addressing human rights issues of detainees. Torture survivors report that they have experienced doctors' involvement in torture and doctors themselves report that they have been involved in torture. Testimonies from both torture survivors and doctors demonstrate that the most common way doctors are involved is in the diagnosis/medical examination of torture survivors/prisoners. And it is common before, during and after torture. Both torture survivors and doctors state that doctors are involved during torture by treatment and direct participation. Doctors also falsify journals, certificates and reports. When doctors are involved in torture it has devastating consequences for both torture survivors and doctors. The consequences for the survivors can be mistrust of doctors, avoidance of seeking doctors' help and nightmares involving doctors. Mistrust and avoidance of doctors could be especially fatal to the survivor, as it could mean a survivor who is ill may not seek medical attention. When the unambiguous role of the doctor as the protector and helper of people is questioned, it affects the medical profession all over the world.
Medical Negligence & Connivance of Doctors in custodial torture
It is a matter of immense pleasure and proud privilege for me to present this premier issue of official journal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. I fully acknowledge many shortcomings & pitfalls in this issue which are bound to be there, when an issue is brought out in a short duration. It is an endeavor to channelise the problems and their solutions by highlighting them. I hope you will like the contents of this issue and will be generous enough to appreciate the spirit behind this humble effort. Environment pollution is the burning problem of the day. Supreme Court has to intervene in many cases of environment pollution, when other agencies responsible for maintaining it have failed to do their duties well. It is also an important part of our duty, when we are dealing with Toxicology to lay proper emphasis on environment pollution so that we can provide a breeding ground for the new ideas & thoughts to make our environment clean. Today there is a chaos as far as our environment is concerned. We are drinking poisons, we are eating poisons and we are inhaling poisons and this trend is on the "increase. It is not that we do not have knowledge of this, but for - short term benefits we are ignoring it. The authorities do not have the will & determination to implement the laws. We will have to act firmly for our own survival and make this earth a better living place for our next generations. This journal is in a budding stage and I aspire as it grows it will give its due contribution towards improving the vitiated atmosphere on this holy planet. In the medico-legal practice many problems are faced by people & doctors. It will be our emphasis to highlight these in the coming issues and try to find out a solution for these problems. Make it a point to share your problems & views, because these are common & let others utilize these solutions for the benefit of masses. R.K. Gorea JPAFMAT, 2001, Vol.: 1 1 MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE IN CUSTODIAL TORTURE Dr. J.S. DALAL, Professor & Head Dr. R.K. GOREA, Associate Professor Dr. K.K. AGGARWAL, Assistant Professor Dr. A.S. THIND, Assistant Professor Dr. S.S. SANDHU, Lecturer Department of Forensic Medicine, G.G.S. Medical College, Faridkot.
India is a democratic country. Although it has already celebrated the silver jubilee of her independence, but in some cases the word of "Independence" & "Democracy" is forgotten particularly by police personnel, who use third degree methods during the investigations in police stations. When the torture crosses the limit, the help of the doctors is sought. Cases have been reported, where the doctor also showed indifference in treatment of such cases. The present paper is a typical example which falls in this category. KEYWORDS: Police torture, Medical negligence.
Physical torture by third degree methods is a common mode adopted by the policeman during Interrogation. Most of the other countries do interrogations by scientific methods like "lie detector" etc., but Indian police still lacks such facilities and it has no option but to apply various methods of torture for extracting truth. CASE HISTORY: The present case is an example of such a case. It was in the year 1993 that a person was arrested by police and tortured. When the condition of the victim became serious, he was taken to civil hospital where he was examined by emergency medical officer According to the report by this medical officer, "the patient was conscious, well oriented in time and space and all his vital signs were normal. He had difficulty in walking and his left thigh and left knee were tender and swollen", except this no other injury was described on his body. The patient was admitted in the hospital and analgesics and local ointment like thromophob and hot fomentation were prescribed to him. Next day the patient developed the fever which went on increasing for the next 3-4 days and ultimately the patient died in a few days. A case was registered under section 304 IPC against the police. The postmortem examination was done by a board of doctors and in the postmortem report as much as 9 injuries were present on his body. His left leg was swollen with abrasions over it. Other injuries were abrasions and there was no fracture or injury to the vital organ anywhere. On dissection of the thigh, it was found to have frank pus and about 300 ml pus oozed out on incision. The cause of death given in the postmortem report was septicemia as a result of injury to the left thigh which was antemortem in nature and sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. It was, therefore, clear that there was discrepancy in the report of doctor who first examined and admitted the patient and those who conducted the postmortem. Therefore, JPAFMAT, 2001, Vol.: 1 2 another board was constituted for opinion in this case and the board opined that medical negligence played a role in the death of the victim. Had the thigh infection been treated properly in the form of pus drainage by incision etc., with judicious use of antibiotics, the patient could have been saved. This case was referred to our department and after going through the entire record we were also of the same opinion and agreed with the opinion of the second board. This opinion was accepted by the police and the case was converted from 304 IPC to 323 IPC.
The prisoners were held in pitch-dark cells in a secret CIA
facility. As part of their torture regimen, they were forced to listen to music
— everything from heavy metal to the theme song from Barney &
Friends — blasted at ear-damaging levels, designed to break them
psychologically. Now, years later, the doctors who designed that program are
getting sued, in litigation filed by the ACLU.
TO THIS DAY THE TWO MEN HAVE RECEIVED NO APOLOGIES OR COMPENSATION FOR THEIR ORDEAL.
Two survivors and the family of a man who was killed in
Afghanistan's notorious "Salt Pit" prison site are suing Mitchell and
Jessen for designing and performing experiments on them that have left them
suffering years after they were freed. Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed
Ahmed Ben Soud were both tortured for years, and to this day they have received
no apologies or compensation for their ordeal. The family of Gul Rahman, an
Afghan man who died of hypothermia while in secret custody, has never received
OUR SINGLE BIGGEST CONCERN IS THAT THERE HAS BEEN ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE TORTURE PROGRAM.
DROR LADIN, STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT
Suleiman lives in Zanzibar now with his family, and despite
suffering through hours of painfully loud music — everything from metal to the
Irish boy band Westlife — he uses Bob Marley songs to calm himself when
he starts to have flashbacks to his time in detention.
The Senate released its report on the CIA’s interrogation program on Tuesday, revealing horrendous details of the torture tactics used on prisoners, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and “rectal feeding.” Complicit in this treatment were several “medical officers” (it’s not explicitly stated whether they hold M.D.s), who enabled, oversaw, and designed many of the techniques.
Two psychologists, Dr. James Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen, were paid $81 million to design the program, and medical officers and physicians’ assistants are cited throughout the report as consultants who advised on things like forcing detainees to stand on broken limbs and “rehydrating” via a rectal tube rather than a standard IV infusion. While in many medical schools around the United States, students swear the Hippocratic Oath, saying out loud the words “may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help,” CIA medical officers used their intimate knowledge of the human body as a weapon, to harm people the U.S. government deemed enemies.
Dr. Steven Miles is a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, a board member of the Center for Victims of Torture, and author of Oath Betrayed: America's Torture Doctors. He has been studying doctors’ involvement in torture programs since photos of the human rights violations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to light in 2003. He maintains the website Doctorswhotorture.com, which tracks physician standards of conduct and punishments for doctors who aid torture around the world. We spoke by phone about the CIA report, the role doctors play in interrogation, and how they could be held accountable.
Julie Beck: What role did doctors play in this CIA-mandated torture, and how integral was it?
"Professional codes describe doctors' duties not only to avoid participating in torture, but to document and report it."
Steven Miles: What’s new here is the CIA side. The role of doctors in torture during the War on Terror has been pretty well excavated on the Defense Department side, but the CIA [has some exemptions] from Freedom of Information Act requests, so that’s remained hidden. Essentially the doctors and psychologists were built in to the entire torture system. They weren’t simply bystanders who were called in to respond when the system went off the rails. Some doctors apparently protested this. But they kept their protests inside [the CIA], they never went outside, which they should have done when they saw these types of abuses.
In general, doctors in torture have a couple roles. Number one, they design methods of torture that do not leave scars. For example, the so-called “rectal feeding” which is actually a medieval technique in which the intestines are inflated with a viscous material to cause intestinal pain. The docs are also involved in making sure that the prisoners who weren’t supposed to die didn’t die. The third thing doctors do is they falsify medical records and death certificates to conceal the injuries of torture. [Ed.: Miles has written on this in the context of Abu Ghraib.]
Beck: When we’re talking about how integral it was, is the medical knowledge that doctors bring to these operations something interrogation programs could not do without? If every doctor in the world refused to participate, would they be out of luck?
Miles: There are two answers to this question. One is, doctors get the prisoners that the Red Cross never sees. So in a sense doctors are frontline human-rights monitors who get into places where regular human rights groups can’t go. Number two, there are a set of professional codes, that are endorsed by the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association, that describe doctor’s duties not only to avoid participating in torture, directly or indirectly, but also a duty to document it and to report it, going outside the chain of command if necessary.
As human rights groups have put additional pressure on regimes around the world with regard to torture, regimes that are responsive to human rights pressure want to use torture that doesn’t leave scars. So they prefer methods like asphyxiation, isolation, cramming people in small boxes, white rooms with loud noises, because it just destroys people psychologically. Whereas regimes like Assad’s regime [in Syria] don’t really care if there are scars. So there is no role for medicine in that respect in an Assad-type regime or in North Korea’s regime.
"Doctors play a critical role in torture in regimes that don't want to leave scars, and that includes the United States."
Beck: So really the doctors become more important in places like the U.S. where if things like this got out, people would pressure the government?
Miles: Yes, doctors play a critical role in torture in regimes that don’t want to leave scars, and that includes the United States.
Beck: Why would people use medical knowledge and expertise learned to heal people for the opposite purpose?
Miles: It’s pretty interesting, I’m writing a book on just that question. The docs who get involved in this, number one, are careerists. They get involved for rank and career, and the regimes never coerce them, or extremely rarely coerce them. Instead what happens is the regimes treat them as some kind of elite. The docs are generally not sadists. This is not the stuff of Saw, for example. They go along with the dominant political theme of the prison: “These are our enemies and we gotta squeeze them for the information.” The thing that’s so interesting is that there is research showing that force of interrogation does not work, that it’s counterproductive. These docs seem to be entirely unaware, not only of the ethics codes, but also of the ineffectiveness of these interrogation strategies, that they never mount a protest.
Beck: What is the relationship between doctors and the military in these War on Terror prisons? I’m sure it’s a very different environment in which to be a doctor as opposed to a hospital.
Miles: The CIA doctors were under an office within the CIA called the Office of Medical Services. That’s not military, that’s CIA.
You had situations where doctors were seeing people with fractures, saying they shouldn’t be made to stand, and the people were standing and the docs weren’t reporting that the medical regime wasn’t being followed. That’s a form of passive complicity. The docs who supervise and say, “Well, what you should do is use medical saline rather than distilled water when you waterboard people so that you don’t make the blood salts dilute,” that’s active participation.
For example, if I flood your lungs and throat with just plain tap water, what happens is the sodium in your blood and the potassium in your blood goes down because of the distilled water. So it’s less likely to be lethal if I flood you with medical saline (the kind of stuff you see hanging on IV bags) because then those electrolytes don’t get changed. From the prisoner’s standpoint, he’s still experiencing a drowning.
Beck: We’ve talked about the medical side, but what does it mean that there were psychologists who helped design this program? What role does psychology and that knowledge base play?
Miles: Essentially what happened is that the DOD constructed a deal with the American Psychological Association to craft a new code of ethics for War on Terror interrogations.
[Ed.: The APA has authorized an independent review of allegations that it colluded with the George W. Bush administration on torture, and has stated: “In the meantime, the Board again reiterates the Association’s longstanding policy prohibiting any psychologist involvement in torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. There are no exceptions to that policy.”]
The military took two psychologists [Mitchell and Jessen] who took the theory oflearned helplessness, and they decided to apply that to interrogation. Learned helplessness as a model for interrogation has been discredited. Learned helplessness works like this. If you shock a dog every time it turns to the right, then it’ll start always turning to the left. If you shock a dog no matter which way it turns, eventually the dog just lies down and takes it. The theory of this interrogation system was, if we punish these prisoners no matter what, they will become helpless and compliant to whatever we want. That is, they’d give up information.
Beck: Do you think these doctors who were involved are going to be held accountable? Whether it’s through the law or through medical licensing boards?
Miles: On the website I maintain, I trace the accountability of doctors around the world since the Nazis, not including the Nazis. Accountability has been slowly building throughout the world. There have been a half dozen docs who’ve been subject to licensing-board hearings, and in all cases the licensing board has declined to get involved. These have been War on Terror cases.
There is a law in the U.S. against torture. Theoretically these people could be charged for violations of that federal law. But the DOJ basically said, “Since we all said this was legal at the time, we’re not going to prosecute them.”
The licensing board in these cases has several options. They can suspend a license, which is the typical punishment around the world, or they can revoke the license. So the licensing board hearings here could address that. Significantly, the American Medical Association still hasn’t commented on the Senate report [as of Thursday]. The AMA is not exerting leadership here.
[Ed.: The AMA's official policy on torture reads, in part: "Physicians must oppose and must not participate in torture for any reason. Participation in torture includes, but is not limited to, providing or withholding any services, substances, or knowledge to facilitate the practice of torture. Physicians must not be present when torture is used or threatened ... Physicians may treat prisoners or detainees if doing so is in their best interest, but physicians should not treat individuals to verify their health so that torture can begin or continue.]
Beck: Do other countries have different laws or standards of punishment in these cases?
"The doctors and psychologists were built into the interrogational abuses. It wasn't a matter of turning off protests, it was a matter of a structured system of complicity."
Miles: Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay have punished bunches of doctors. Rwanda punished bunches of doctors. Rwanda probably punished the largest percentage of its physician workforce of any country on the planet. Then you’ve got countries like Great Britain, Guyana, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Greece, and these countries have punished a token number of physicians, one or two, even though the involvement of physicians in torture has been much more widespread.
Beck: Are there any other important aspects of this that we haven’t talked about yet?
Miles: The first question I asked when I saw the Abu Ghraib pictures was, “My god, where were the doctors when all this was going on? How did the government turn off the protests from the medical system?” What I discovered instead was that the doctors and psychologists were built into the interrogational abuses. So it wasn’t a matter of turning off their protests, it was a matter of a structured system of complicity. This has greatly harmed the U.S. medical community’s ability to speak on behalf of doctors who are protesting torture around the world.
Let me give you a few examples. There was a psychiatrist in Russia, in the Soviet Union, who was pointing out Russia had built psychiatric prisons to punish dissidents. His name was Anatoly Koryagin. He smuggled out a secret paper in a medical journal called The Lancet, and he was immediately sent to [prison]. The medical community in the U.S. and Europe was able to secure his release.
There was a doctor by the name of Pourandarjani in Iran who told of torture in Iranian prisons. But his testimony in Iran happened [in 2009] after the medical abuses in Abu Ghraib were out. [Ed. Pourandarjani died of an alleged heart attack in November 2009—some human rights groups have called his death “suspicious.”]Our ability to be a leader in these areas has huge consequences for people who are doing very dangerous human rights work around the world. And we’ve totally compromised ourselves.
How narco tests gave more misses than hits
In the last few years, the city police have used narco-analysis and brainmapping tests as a "secret weapon"
against suspects in high-profile cases. However, often the results have been
less than satisfactory and in some cases have led to major setbacks.
A narco-analysis test involves using sedatives, such as sodium pentothal
or sodium amytal, to put a person in hypnotic-like state, rendering him unable
to lie. The person then answers only specific questions and the answers are
taken to be spontaneous. A narco-analysis test report can only be used as
supportive evidence; it is not admissible as standalone evidence in court.
Is Narco Analysis a Reliable Science? – Present Legal Scenario In India.
The term Narco-Analysis is derived from the Greek word narkç (meaning "anesthesia" or "torpor") and is used to describe a diagnostic and psychotherapeutic technique that uses psychotropic drugs, particularly barbiturates, to induce a stupor in which mental elements with strong associated affects come to the surface, where they can be exploited by the therapist. The term narco-analysis was coined by Horseley. Narco analysis first reached the mainstream in 1922, when Robert House, a Texas obstetrician used the drug scopolamine on two prisoners.
The search for effective aids to interrogation is probably as old as man’s need to obtain information from an uncooperative source and as persistent as his impatience to shortcut any tortuous path. In the annals of police investigation, physical coercion has at times been substituted for painstaking and time consuming inquiry in the belief that direct methods produce quick results. Development of new tools of investigation has led to the emergence of scientific tools of interrogation like the narco analysis test. Such tests are a result of advances in science but they often raise doubts regarding basic human rights and also about their reliability. Legal questions are raised about their validity with some upholding its validity in the light of legal principles and others rejecting it as a blatant violation of constitutional provisions.
A Brief Outline of The Narco Analysis Test-
The narco analysis test is conducted by mixing 3 grams of Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal dissolved in 3000 ml of distilled water. Narco Test refers to the practice of administering barbiturates or certain other chemical substances, most often Pentothal Sodium, to lower a subject's inhibitions, in the hope that the subject will more freely share information and feelings. A person is able to lie by using his imagination. In the narco Analysis Test, the subject's inhibitions are lowered by interfering with his nervous system at the molecular level. In this state, it becomes difficult though not impossible for him to lie .In such sleep-like state efforts are made to obtain "probative truth" about the crime. Experts inject a subject with hypnotics like Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal under the controlled circumstances of the laboratory. The dose is dependent on the person's sex, age, health and physical condition.
The subject which is put in a state of Hypnotism is not in a position to speak up on his own but can answer specific but simple questions after giving some suggestions. The subject is not in a position to speak up on his own but can answer specific but simple questions. The answers are believed to be spontaneous as a semi-conscious person is unable to manipulate the answers.
Wrong dose can send the subject into coma or even result in death. The rate of administration is controlled to drive the accused slowly into a hypnotic trance. The effect of the bio-molecules on the bio-activity of an individual is evident as the drug depresses the central nervous system, lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate, putting the subject into a hypnotic trance resulting in a lack of inhibition. The subject is then interrogated by the investigating agencies in the presence of the doctors. The revelations made during this stage are recorded both in video and audio cassettes. The report prepared by the experts is what is used in the process of collecting evidence. This procedure is conducted in government hospitals after a court order is passed instructing the doctors or hospital authorities to conduct the test. Personal consent of the subject is also required.
Other associated truth finding tests-
Apart from narco test there are also other two kinds of tests which are popularly used on the convict for extraction of truth, these are-
I. Polygraph or lie Detection Test:
It is an examination, which is based on an assumption that there is an interaction between the mind and body and is conducted by various components or the sensors of a polygraph machine, which are attached to the body of the person who is interrogated by the expert. The machine records the blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration and muscle movements. Polygraph test is conducted in three phases- a pretest interview, chart recording and diagnosis. The examiner (a clinical or criminal psychologist) prepares a set of test questions depending upon the relevant information about the case provided by the investigating officer, such as the criminal charges against the person and statements made by the suspect. The subject is questioned and the reactions are measured. A baseline is established by asking questions whose answers the investigators know. Lying by a suspect is accompanied by specific, perceptible physiological and behavioural changes and the sensors and a wave pattern in the graph expose this. Deviation from the baseline is taken as a sign of lie. All these reactions are corroborated with other evidence gathered. The polygraph test was among the first scientific tests to be used by the interrogators.
It was Keeler who further refined the polygraph machine by adding a Psycho-galvanometer to record the electrical resistance of the skin.
II. P300 or the Brain Mapping Test:
This test was developed and patented in 1995 by neurologist Dr. Lawrence A. Farwell, Director and Chief Scientist “Brain Wave Science”, IOWA. In this method, called the “Brain-wave finger printing”; the accused is first interviewed and interrogated to find out whether he is concealing any information. Then sensors are attached to the subject’s head and the person is seated before a computer monitor. He is then shown certain images or made to hear certain sounds. The sensors monitor electrical activity in the brain and register P300 waves, which are generated only if the subject has connection with the stimulus i.e. picture or sound. The subject is not asked any questions. Dr. Farwell has published that a MERMER (Memory and Encoding Related Multifaceted Electro Encephalographic Response) is initiated in the accused when his brain recognizes noteworthy information pertaining to the crime. These stimuli are called the “target stimuli”. In a nutshell, Brain finger printing test matches information stored in the brain with information from the crime scene. Studies have shown that an innocent suspect’s brain would not have stored or recorded certain information, which an actual perpetrator’s brain would have stored. In USA, the FBI has been making use of “Brain mapping technique” to convict criminals.
Narco Analysis in India-
A few democratic countries, India most notably, still continue to use narco analysis. This has come under increasing criticism from the public and the media in that country. Narco analysis is not openly permitted for investigative purposes in most developed and/or democratic countries. In India, the narco analysis test is done by a team comprising of an anesthesiologist, a psychiatrist, a clinical/ forensic psychologist, an audio-videographer, and supporting nursing staff. The forensic psychologist will prepare the report about the revelations, which will be accompanied by a compact disc of audio-video recordings. The strength of the revelations, if necessary, is further verified by subjecting the person to polygraph and brain mapping tests.
Narco analysis is steadily being mainstreamed into investigations, court hearings, and laboratories in India. However, it raises serious scientific, legal, and ethical questions. These need to be addressed urgently before the practice spreads further. Narco analysis has become an increasingly, perhaps alarmingly, common term in India. It refers to the process of psychotherapy conducted on a subject by inducing a sleep-like state with the aid of barbiturates or other drugs. In a spate of high profile cases, such as those of the Nithari killers and the Mumbai train blasts, suspects have been whisked away to undergo an interview drugged with the barbiturate sodium pentothal.
Narco Analysis from Constitutional & Legal Stand Points-
The main provision regarding crime investigation and trial in the Indian Constitution is Art. 20(3). It deals with the privilege against self-incrimination. It has its equivalents in the Magna Carta, the Talmud, and the law of almost every civilized country. The privilege against `self incrimination is a fundamental canon of Common law criminal jurisprudence.
The characteristic features of this principle are-
-The accused is presumed to be innocent,
-That it is for the prosecution to establish his guilt, and
-That the accused need not make any statement against his will.
-These propositions emanate from an apprehension that if compulsory examination of an accused were to be permitted then force and torture may be used against him to entrap him into fatal contradictions. The privilege against self-incrimination thus enables the maintenance of human privacy and observance of civilized standards in the enforcement of criminal justice.
Art. 20(3) which embody this privilege reads, “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”.
On analysis, this provision will be found to contain the following components:
-It is a right available to a person “accused of an offence”;
-It is a protection against such “compulsion” “to be a witness”;
-It is a protection against such “compulsion” resulting in his giving evidence against himself.
All the three ingredients must necessarily coexist before the protection of Art 20(3) can be claimed. If any of these ingredients is missing, Art. 20(3) cannot be invoked.
The application of narco analysis test involves the fundamental question pertaining to judicial matters and also to Human Rights. The legal position of applying this technique as an investigative aid raises genuine issues like encroachment of an individual’s rights, liberties and freedom. Subjecting the accused to undergo the test, as has been done by the investigative agencies in India, is considered by many as a blatant violation of Art. 20(3) of Constitution. It also goes against the maxim Nemo Tenetur se Ipsum Accusare that is, ‘No man, not even the accused himself can be compelled to answer any question, which may tend to prove him guilty of a crime, he has been accused of’. If the confession from the accused is derived from any physical or moral compulsion (be it under hypnotic state of mind) it should stand to be rejected by the court. The main issue thus is the question of its admissibility as a scientific technique in investigations and its ultimate admissibility in court as forensic evidence.
Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 does allow experts’ opinions in certain cases. It reads:
“When the court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of science, or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger impression, the opinions upon that point or persons especially skilled in such foreign law, or of science, or art, or as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions are relevant.”
However this section is silent on other aspects of forensic evidence that can be admissible in court in criminal proceedings.
The right against forced self-incrimination, widely known as the Right to Silence is enshrined in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Indian Constitution.In the CrPC, the legislature has guarded a citizen’s right against self-incrimination. S.161 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that every person “is bound to answer truthfully all questions, put to him by [a police] officer, other than questions the answers to which, would have a tendency to expose that person to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture”.
It is well established that the Right to Silence has been granted to the accused by virtue of the pronouncement in the case of Nandini Sathpathy vs P.L.Dani, no one can forcibly extract statements from the accused, who has the right to keep silent during the course of interrogation (investigation). By the administration of these tests, forcible intrusion into one’s mind is being restored to, thereby nullifying the validity and legitimacy of the Right to Silence.
Moreover, the tests like narco analysis are not considered very reliable. Studies done by various medical associations in the US adhere to the view that truth serums do not induce truthful statements and subjects in such a condition of trance under the truth serum may give false or misleading answers.
Some Notable Events & Cases of Narco Analysis in India-
I. In a 2006 judgment ( Dinesh Dalmia v State ), the Madras High Court held that subjecting an accused to narco analysis is not tantamount to testimony by compulsion. The court said about the accused: "he may be taken to the laboratory for such tests against his will, but the revelation during such tests is quite voluntary." There are two fallacies in this reasoning. First, if narco analysis is all that it is made out to be by the Bangalore FSL, the accused will involuntarily answer questions posed to him during the interview. The second fallacy is that it is incorrect to say that the accused is merely taken to the lab against his will. He is then injected with substances. The breaking of one's silence, at the time it is broken, is always technically `voluntary.' Similarly, it can be argued that after being subject to electric shocks, a subject `quite voluntarily' divulges information. But the act or threat of violence is where the element of coercion is housed. In narco analysis, the drug contained in the syringe is the element of compulsion. The rest is technically voluntary.
II. In 2004, the Bombay High Court ruled in the multi-crore-rupee fake stamp paper case that subjecting an accused to certain tests like narcoanalysis does not violate the fundamental right against self-incrimination. Article 20(3) of the Constitution guarantees this: "No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." Statements made under narco analysis are not admissible in evidence. However, recoveries resulting from such drugged interviews are admissible as corroborative evidence. This is, arguably, a roundabout way to subverting the right to silence — acquiring the information on where to find the weapon from the subject when, in his right senses, he would not turn witness against himself. Arguments have been made that narco analysis constitutes mental torture. It works by inhibiting the nervous system and thus lowering the subject's inhibitions. It is not difficult to interpret this as a physical violation of an individual's mind-space. The State police departments are responsible for generating demand for the process. The decision to conduct narco analysis is usually made by the Superintendent of Police or the Deputy Inspector General handling a case.
A high-ranking official in the Karnataka Police told The Hindu that police departments in India have poor skills when it comes to collection, collation, and presentation of evidence before the courts. Consequently, when there is enormous pressure on a police department to solve a case, sending suspects to narco analysis not only buys time but also gives the impression that something concrete has been done about the case.
III. In January 24th, 2008, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan reserved its ruling after hearing arguments for three days from various parties, including Solicitor General Goolam E. Vahanvati and senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appointed by the bench as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case. The bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal, heard the arguments by counsel of various people, including Santokhben Jadeja from Gujarat, popularly known as 'Godmother', and some accomplices of fake stamp paper case accused Abdul Karim Telgi. Telgi and his accomplices are facing probe by various states' police and other investigative agencies for their alleged criminal acts.
These accused people have challenged the legality of the use polygraph, brain mapping and narco-analysis by the investigative agencies to probe the crime.
During the arguments, Vahanvati justified the use of these three tests, saying they have the legal mandate under Section 53 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which lists a host of various modern techniques like DNA fingerprinting and collection of blood samples as perfectly legal tools to probe a crime. He said the term 'such other tests' occurring in the explanatory note of the Section 53 includes these three tests too.
'If these tests are properly considered to be steps in the aid of investigation and not for obtaining incrimination statements, there is no constitutional infirmity whatsoever,' said Vahanvati. 'These tests are scientific methods in furtherance of investigation. All these tests are considered to be the part of the process of collection of some subsequent evidence.
'These tests may provide some clues to the investigative agency to collect some evidence but the statements given by the accused against themselves during these tests are not of any evidentiary value,' clarified the law officer.
But Dave during his arguments, contended that parliament never intended to include these tests as tools for probe as Section 53 was last amended in 2005, when a list of various modern scientific techniques was included in it as legal tools for investigation. Dave also contended that the use of these three tests as tools of investigation is not validated by Article 20(3) of the constitution, which says: 'No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.'
IV. In Shashi murder case, Court allows narco-analysis. Vijaysen Yadav, the main accused in the disappearance and murder case of Faizabad law student Shashi, has gone through polygraph and narco-analysis test from January 12 to 26. Faizabad Chief Judicial Magistrate Shailesh Tiwari permitted the police on Friday to conduct the tests at the Central Forensic Laboratory in Bangalore.
In his order, the CJM said the tests on Vijaysen will be conducted in judicial custody and prohibited investigating Officer Sharat Chandra Pandey from intervening in any matter during the process of tests. The court also asked him not to accompany Vijaysen to Bangalore.
V. The Bombay High Court recently in a significant verdict in the case of, Ramchandra Reddy and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, upheld the legality of the use of P300 or Brain finger-printing, lie-detector test and the use of truth serum or narco analysis. The court upheld a special court order given by the special court in Pune as mentioned above, allowing the SIT to conduct scientific tests on the accused in the fake stamp paper scam including the main accused, Abdul Karim Telgi. The verdict also said that the evidence procured under the effect of truth serum is also admissible. In the course of the judgment, a distinction was drawn between “statement” (made before a police officer) and “testimony” (made under oath in court). The Judges, Justice Palshikar and Justice Kakade, said that the lie-detector and the brain mapping tests did not involve any “statement” being made and the statement made under narco analysis was not admissible in evidence during trial. The judgment also held that these tests involve “minimal bodily harm”.
VI. Narco-analysis of Moninder Singh Pandher, had started on Tuesday, January 09, The narco-analysis test of the prime accused in the Noida serial murder case Moninder Singh Pandher was conducted at the Directorate of Forensic Laboratory. Pandher and Koli have been accused of serial killing of women and children in Nithari village, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The Nodia police had brought Pandher and his servant Surendra Koli to DFS on January 5 for forensic tests. The tests are expected to go on for approximately eight hours, the sources said.
VII. A court in Kerala recently pronounced that no court order is required to do a narco analysis, Disposing of a petition filed by the CBI seeking permission of the court, the magistrate said that filing this type of a plea would only delay the investigation. The court said nobody could stand in the way of the investigating agency conducting tests recognized as effective investigation tools. When the technicalities of the test itself are not clear and uniform, it becomes difficult to accept the stand taken by the court.
The Degree of Admission of These Truth Finding Tests in Court-
Lawyers are divided on whether the results of Narco Analysis and P300 tests are admissible as evidence in courts. "Confessions made by a semi-conscious person is not admissible in court. A Narco Analysis Test report has some validity but is not totally admissible in court, which considers the circumstances under which it was obtained and assess its admissibility," advocate P. R Vakil told rediff.com. "Under certain circumstance, a person may hold a certain belief. By repeatedly thinking about an issue in a particular way, he begins to believe that what he is thinking is right. But it need not necessarily be the truth," Vakil explained.” Results of such tests can be used to get admissible evidence, can be collaborated with other evidence or to support other evidence. But if the result of this test is not admitted in a court, it cannot be used to support any other evidence obtained the course of routine investigation."
Criminal lawyer Majeed Memon said, "If the courts give permission to conduct these tests, then only it can decide the admissibility of the test results and other related evidence. Such reports can be used as evidence or to support other evidence." Another criminal lawyer Sham Keswani has a different view. "Such tests don't have any legal validity. They can only assist the police investigation.” But, in case a person is not affected by the chemical, he might take some wrong names (to mislead investigators). The results of such tests can be used to support other evidence," he said.
Law is a living process, which changes according to the changes in society, science, ethics and so on. The Legal System should imbibe developments and advances that take place in science as long as they do not violate fundamental legal principles and are for the good of the society. The criminal justice system should be based on just and equitable principles. The issue of using narco analysis test as a tool of interrogation in India has been widely debated. The extent to which it is accepted in our legal system and our society is something, which will be clearer in the near future. In a situation where narco analysis is gaining judicial acceptances and supports despite being an “unreliable & doubtful” science, we have to seroiusly rethink about its legal and constitutional validity from human rights perspective.
Violence and the ethical responsibility of the medical profession
Prof. Upendra Baxi, a well known expert on law and a former vice chancellor of Delhi and South Gujarat universities, in his comments on Women’s Studies in the ICSSR Newsletter seven years back, made some incisive and disturbing comments on the coverage of violence in social science discourses in India. “Mainstream social sciences in India have altogether ignored the fact that India is a very violent society. There do not exist even pre- theoretical discourses on violence in India. Compared with the practice of violence in India, there is a total denial of discourse on violence.”1
Health care professionals have fared even worse than social scientists.
The concern for violence is conspicuous by its virtual absence in medical discourses. The special medical needs and rehabilitation of victims and survivors of violence are hardly ever discussed by doctors. Is this because health care workers do not come in contact with the victims and survivors of violence? The answer is a categoricalno. Violence invariably inflicts physical or psychological trauma and in any violence, the victims and survivors come in contact with health care workers, the last and extreme contact being established during autopsies on victims of violence. The apathy of medical personnel is all the more disturbing simply because of the many professions in our country, medicine has the greatest claim to nobility, compassion, humanity, rationality and scientific attitudes.
Unlike some extremely backward countries, we have nearly a million (9,27,624 in 1991) formally trained doctors, 42% of whom are trained in modern medicine - a ratio of one doctor for less than a thousand persons in the country as whole and one doctor for less than five hundred in the urban areas. An estimated 85% of all trained doctors work in the private sector3. Yet, the conscious response of the profession to one of the bigger epidemics of violence in recent times in our country has been grossly inadequate. We have either shown plain indifference or clumsy and ad hoc crisis management when faced with violence. This does not auger well for a profession claiming to have scientific basis for its practice. The implied failure in discharging social responsibility raises ethical questions for the profession at large in the country.
Violence and the medical profession
One’s social position and ideological orientation, rather than the fact of the violence and the plight of victims and survivors, seem to determine the stand taken on violence. Of course there is also a big segment that has either become emotionally numb due from excessive exposure to violence or is indifferent as at present it is not directly affected.
Such trends prevail in the medical profession as well. To what extent is the attitude of doctors to violence shaped by their social positions and ideological orientation? There has been very little research on doctors’ attitudes on violence and the extent to which individual biases get reflected in medical practice. Some indication on what is happening at the ground level within the profession is available from the recent reports of various local, national and international groups. These reports were prepared for specific purposes and their findings on the acts of commission and omission cannot and should not be generalised. Nevertheless, they do serve as pointers. The few examples given below on postmortems and torture and rape are purposefully selected by me in order to illustrate issues. I understand that there is always the other side to every story.
(a) Autopsy: The way autopsies are conducted, findings recorded and access to reports denied has been a bone of contention for long. There have been reports in the press about the pressure exerted on doctors by the police to give findings favorable to them. The death of Dayal Singh in police custody made the Resident Doctors’ Association of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) protest against such pressure. This is referred to in Amnesty International’s (AI) report titled Torture, Rape and Deaths in Police Custody4. The autopsy reports on two nuns murdered in a Bombay suburb and the role of doctors in unscientific inter F retation of its findings is also fresh in many minds5. On study of autopsy reports on victims dying in police custody and on so- called deaths during ‘encounters’ in the past few years, I found several disturbing issues which have grave implications on the unethical behavior of doctors conducting autopsies:
(1) Autopsies are generally conducted by police surgeons in police hospitals to which lay people and other doctors have no access. An independent medical audit of work being done there is unheard of. This situation is neither conducive to good science nor to ethics.
(2) A study of autopsy reports (no such study is available, hence the need for it) of victims of violence would probably show incomplete and unscientific documentation. The Supreme Court had to order, in 1989, that all postmortem examinations held at AIIMS be standardised. On making inquiries I learn that this Court order has remained inadequately implemented.
There is a crying need to adopt (with suitable modifications) the United Nations’ manual on the effective prevention and investigation of extralegal, arbitrary and summary executions.! Such routine, standardised and scientific investigation by the medical profession would go a long way in checking arbitrary killings and in upholding medical impartiality and neutrality’
(3) There is also need to make the whole process more accessible to other doctors and the public. The profession could allow a doctor appointed by the relatives of the deceased to remain present at autopsy. They should make the official report available to the family doctor and the patient’s relatives. This is an issue on which the profession can easily assert its authority.
(b) Torture and rape: There have been numerous official denials that the so- called third degree methods of interrogation or torture are practiced by our police and security personnel. The evidence accumulated so far does not support such a claim. Some of the retired police officers, reared in the old school of correct policing, have publicly criticised the ‘new methods of policing’ which condone the use of torture, illegal detention and tampering with records and in worst cases even condone execution of hard core criminals by police officers7.
AI’s report (1992) cites 13 cases of custody deaths due to torture in the period 1985- 89 in Maharashtra. A Bombay newspaper reported a study by the prestigious Karve Institute of Social Work, Pune giving the toll of custody deaths in Maharashtra in 1980- 89 as 1558. On inquiry I find that of these 155 deaths, 102 had taken place in the five year period 1985- 89 for which AI had reported only 13. On analysing the causes of the 155 custody deaths, I find that only 9.7% (15) were admitted as due to police action, 44.5% (69) were attributed to suicide or acts of the accused, 7% (11) to acts of the public, 22.6% (35) to disease and illness. 13.6% (21) were termed natural deaths and in 2.6% (4) the cause was not known or record not available. I was astonished to learn some of specific causes listed: alcohol consumption (9 cases), hanging (45), jumped in well (3), jumped under the train (2), jumped under the awtorickshaw (3), jumped under the bus (l), fell from the cot (l), skin disease (l), giddiness (l), unconsciousness (1) and so on. Given the norm that every death in custody ought to be investigated- and proper autopsy done, such causes are not only incomprehensible but also lead to suspicion about a larger proportion of deaths due to torture.
In an investigation of death in police custody in Bombay, I, along with two journalists and a lawyer, found that the young victim accused of petty theft was in the course of interrogation brought to the hospital in a serious condition with, as per hospital records, inflicted injuries on his wrists and thighs typical of torture, bloody vomiting, pain in the region around kidney etc. He was given some treatment and asked to go back to his cell by the doctor. It was also found that the doctor had taken case history and examined’his patient in the presence of the police officer who had accompanied the victim.
The doctor did not consider the presence of the police as violating the doctor- patient relationship. He insisted that he did not suspect torture as the victim never reported it to him. The victim died in his cell.
Similar findings were made by us in an investigation of a victim of gang rape wherein, inspite of the visible signs of injuries around the vagina, which could make any medical person suspect rape, the male doctor turned away the patient after treating her injuries simply because the woman could not tell him that she was raped’. The woman had reported rape to the nurse on duty but could not communicate this to the male doctor.
In another case of custodial gang rape and torture of a tribal woman by police in Gujarat, the commission of inquiry constituted by the Supreme Court found that two doctors at the government hospital were guilty of shielding the policemen and issuing a false certificate10
These examples only represent the tip of the iceberg. Doctors who come in contact with survivors and victims of violence are not always conscious accomplices in ignoring or covering up the cases. I have been given the following reasons for non- reporting and conspicuous silence by medical doctors on torture and rape:
(1) A section of doctors involved are plainly ignorant about this aspect of medical work. If it is true that it never occurs to a doctor that a policeman should not be allowed to remain present during the doctor- patient interaction, or that certain signs and symptoms should make him/ her suspicious of possible torture, it shows crass ignorance in the profession and a grave lacuna in their training.
(2) Another section is indifferent to the plight of sufferer due to their own social biases against the victims and survivors. Such indifference is also produced by social pressure to conform to the dominant belief. In cases of torture inflicted on persons labeled as terrorists, I have found doctors faithfully treating the injuries of the victims but showing great reluctance in mentioning torture due to the fear of being seen as opposed to the state’s efforts at fighting terrorism and separatism.
(3) A third section simply believes that by being in the employment of the government, the police department or the prison, they are bound by the orders of their superiors and feel that the code of their service does not allow them to ‘blow the whistle’.
The profession has failed to take the unequivocal position that when a doctor has to choose between an administrative order and professional ethics, the latter must prevail. The profession has also failed to protest when doctors are transferred as punishment for cri ticising gimmicky and unscientific measures taken by the authorities during epidemics, or when security forces harass and raid hospitals, interfering with the treatment of patients as in Kashmir11. Such lack of collective assertion of professional independence and neutrality on crucial issues has left individual doctors defenseless, cynical and by default subservient to the authorities.
(4) Another reason for doctors’ apathy to these issues is their unwillingness to ‘get involved’. Many remark, “We are doctors. We treat illness. We are not interested in torture or rape.” This is both inadequate science and poor ethics.
Treatment, rehabilitation and documentation
This would also provide precious information on the extent of problem encountered, the individuals and agencies (state, terrorists, armed groups, gangs) involved in torture, type of people affected, type of torture methods used and so on. This information in turn would sensitise the profession and make it easier for medical associations and groups to successfully campaign for rooting out conscious or unconscious complicity of doctors in torture or its cover up. Such information will also sensitise other professionals in the media, law, social work etc. to play active and meaningful roles in creating public awareness, in punishing the guilty and in rehabilitating survivors.
Code of medical ethics and torture
Although the principles enunciated in the code are universal and exhort doctors to refrain from participating or colluding in anything that harms the individual, there is a need to make them specific and directive, particularly in relation to the victims and survivors of violence. This could be easily done by incorporation of the international declaration on the subject in our code.
3rd Degree Torture by Police in India
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Your’s sincerely ,
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FORENSIC SCIENCE LABORATORY BANGALORE INDIA
BANGALORE: Once the first choice for narcoanalysis tests, the
Forensic Science Laboratory in Bangalore is now creaking under the burden of
300 pending requisitions and the absence of an expert to conduct them.
Bangalore: Bowing to opposition demand in the legislative council, the state government, on Wednesday, sacked Dr S Malini, assistant director of the Forensic Science Laboratory here, on charges of submitting fake documents that furnished wrong information about her caste, and educational qualification for joining the service.
Janata Dal (Seculer) leader MC Nanaiah, who raised the issue in the council, demanded the government to immediately sack Dr Malini from service.
He stated that Malini had not only submitted false caste records, but also fakecertificates of educational qualification, including SSLC marks card.
She is also accused of tampering with documents and brain mapping reports in Sister Abhaya murder case of Kerala.
Nanaiah even drew home minister VS Acharya's attention to a December 26, 2008 letter written by former director-general of police R Sri Kumar to the principal secretary, home department, to discharge Dr Malini from service.
Butno action was taken as Dr Malini was protected by influential persons in the ruling BJP government, Nanaiah alleged.
In his letter, the former DGP had accused Dr Malini of leaking narco test results conducted on Al Badr extremist Fahad Ali to the media. He also accused her of professional impropriety.
However, a probe by the Corps of Detectives could not establish any impropriety on the part of Dr Malini.
Earlier, questions were also raised on her recruitment through a special drive.
CBI To grill Dr.Malini of FSL Bangalore
Kochi, Friday, January 30, 2009: The CBI sleuths have informed the Kerala High Cout that they will once again interrogate Dr.S. Malini Assistant Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore once again to clear the air regarding the narco –analysis CDs.
Earlier, the investigating agency had alleged that narco analysis expert, Dr Malini who conducted narco test on three persons Fr Thomas Kutty, Fr Joseph Puttrukail and Sister Steffi in October 2007 had tampered with the CDs containing the video graphed procedure of the tests conducted on suspects in Sister Abhaya murder case. The agency in its submission said that she had tampered with the CDs twice on October 22, 2007 and on October 24, 2007. The agency said that a CD given by the FSL, Bangalore had three reports of which two were nowhere connected with Sister Abhaya’s murder. However the Court on August 5, 2008 had communicated to Director FSL, Bangalore to send the CDs of the entire procedure to Satheesachandran, Registrar General, Kerala High Court.
However the Court on August 5, 2008 had communicated to Director FSL, Bangalore to send the CDs of the entire procedure to Satheesachandran, Registrar General, Kerala High Court after which the Court had cleared Dr Malini once again accusing the CBI of misleading the murder case.
Manual Scavenging: Must Be Eradicated Right Away
By Ram Puniyani
Indian society is riddled with many evil practices, some of which tantamount to atrocity on one or other section of the dalit/deprived sections of society. One such atrocity is the manual scavenging; the removal of human excreta by humans, with the minimum aid of brooms, metal scarpers and buckets. This practice was officially supposed to have been banned in 1993 by the Government of India. Official lapses and apathy apart, the surveys by the activists working against this practice show that even now over 14 lakhs of scavengers are still suffering ignominy and nearly 95% of these workers are women. These scavengers are the untouchables section of dalits, who have been trapped in this occupation as a birth based work. The States have not taken the act of abolition of this practice seriously and even till 1999-2000 many a States had not notified the act. It is in this light that the social action group Safai Karmachari Andolan has given a call for abolition of this atrocity by the end of 2010.
The manual scavenging is an offshoot of the untouchability practiced in India. Many feudal societies have seen the birth based hierarchy of caste but the Indian caste system has been legitimized through Holy Scriptures to make it a religious phenomenon. Many a factors have contributed to emergence of caste; Race, class and religion. Currently the race theory does not find much favor with the serious scholars of caste. The major contributing factors have been the economic and religious. In his famous phrase Ambedkar points out that “caste is not a division of labor; it is a division of laborers”. He puts more emphasis on the ideological and religious factors. In his analysis these factors are interwoven as civilizational factors which influenced and resulted in social changes leading to formation of caste system.
The evolution of caste society was a slow process. Its continuance was secured by making it hereditary. The primitive taboo on eating together and intermarriage became caste law, which in turn led to marriage limits and elaborate rules of endogamy and exogamy. The continuance of caste system depended on vast network of sub-castes, which were connected with occupations. This sub-caste – jati – came to have more relevance and became the basis of functioning of Hindu society. As caste became hereditary with close connection between occupation and sub-caste, it resulted in an automatic check on individual moving up in the hierarchy of castes
Untouchablity is the outcome of this caste system and manual scavenging is the subhuman expression of the same, that being amongst the worst of atrocities perpetrated by the upper caste on the low castes. This is the key concept inherent in purity-pollution, and rebirth theories which were used to enslave the low caste and keep them tied to the subhuman occupation. Khalid Akhtar (Hardnews Media, March 2008) points out that the earliest references to it are found in Narada Samhita and Vajasaneyi Samhita. In Narada Samhita one of the 15 duties listed for untouchables, one is the removal of human excreta. In Vajasaneyi Samhita, Chandalas are referred to as slaves engaged in the disposal of human excreta. Even other dalits look down upon them and all the avenue of social interaction in any form were denied to them.
Excavations at Lotha in Gujarat show that Harappan civilization did have water based sanitation system. The toilets were connected by drains and had manholes and chambers. With the decline of Harappan civilization this technology went into oblivion.
The system of manual scavenging continued in medieval times as well. While the Muslim kings did introduce different techniques at places. As such the communal politics, as is its wont, is trying to propagate that since the Muslims used Burqua, women could not go out to jungles, they introduced manual scavenging. This is another way of putting the blame of internal problems to external source. This is far from truth. Observation and research into the Mughal forts’ sanitation system shows that they had small outlets in the bathing rooms of Mughal forts which were used as toilets. The waste from these toilets was carried by gravitational force to the ramparts with the help of water. This technique has been seen in the Red Fort in Delhi, in the palaces of Rajasthan, in Hampi, Karnataka and in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The British did claim that they have come here, carrying the “White Man’s Burden” of civilizing the East, but as far as retrograde social practices were concerned they were unconcerned about those. In the case of manual scavenging they put their seal of approval on this by systematizing it and creating the posts of scavengers in army, railways, municipalities and big towns. Barring few places they did not put the sewer lines in most of the places, as they observed that already the system of scavenging is in place. Due to industrial changes, end of craftsmanship and pauperization of a section of society, some of them forced to join in this work.
Ambedkars’ rebellion against caste and his prescription on
‘Annihilation of caste’ and Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts to eradicate
untouchabilty, experiments with new designs of toilets, had a minimal effect on
the total social situation, as the social transformation has been painfully
slow. After partition the untouchables from Pakistan were not permitted to come
to India and Indian Government did not try much for the safe passage of this
group to India. And here the situations continued as it has been due to which
the life was a total humiliation for this section of society persisted. During
last many decades the pressure of the social movements is forcing the State authorities
to abolish this practice and rehabilitate the scavengers. As usual the State
response has been half baked and there is a lack of effectivity in the same.
The step of the social movements to do all, advocacy, campaign and other
pressures, to ensure that this practice is put to
One knows that the popular opinion and efforts of all sensitive people to end this are needed at this point of time to remove this blot on Indian society, irrespective of its sanction by the Holy Scriptures and traditional practices. Enough is enough, this atrocity on a section of our society has to be stopped forthwith, they need to be rahabilitated to the life of dignity, come what may.
Narcoanalysis and some hard facts
BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
NARCOANALYSIS has become an increasingly, perhaps alarmingly, common term in India. It refers to the process of psychotherapy conducted on a subject by inducing a sleep-like state with the aid of barbiturates or other drugs. In a spate of high-profile cases, such as those of the Nithari killers and the Mumbai train blasts, suspects have been whisked away to undergo an interview, drugged with the barbiturate sodium pentothal.
This practice has also garnered support from certain State governments as well as the judiciary. Politicians have fallen into the habit of hurling the term `narcoanalysis' at each other. In 2006, Karnataka Congress leader H. Vishwanath suggested that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his colleagues undergo narcoanalysis in the Chenamma Trust bribery case. The Home Ministry's forensic science directorate has yet to withdraw a controversial manual on best practices in narcoanalysis in which it states that facilities for narcoanalysis need to be expanded. There is also talk of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore working with the Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to train personnel in this technique. It is not surprising then that there are about 300 people in the narcoanalysis queue at the FSL, Bangalore, alone.
It would appear that the narcoanalysis beast has acquired a life of its own. It is increasingly knocking at the doors of courts and finding ready acceptance as a device to get at the truth during police investigations, though its scientific basis and value are under strong challenge. It is for this reason that the scientific, legal, and evidentiary issues relevant to the narcoanalysis debate need to be discussed critically.
Narcoanalysis is rarely used for therapeutic purposes today. The reliability of the practice has been questioned by leading psychiatric and forensic experts. Dr. P. Chandra Sekharan, the highly regarded former Director of the Forensic Sciences Department of Tamil Nadu, has characterised the practice as an unscientific, third-degree method of investigation. Nevertheless, sections of the police in India and those connected with investigative agencies consider it the golden ticket to solving difficult cases.
Far from being novel, truth serums have been in use since the early part of the 20th century. The use of the drug scopolamine for criminal narcoanalysis was first reported in 1922. Barbiturates, which have been in use since the beginning of the last century, were being used in psychotherapy for narcoanalysis by 1930 along with other methods of therapy. During and after the War years, United States armed forces and intelligence agencies continued to experiment with truth drugs. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has admitted to using these as part of its interrogation tactics, and a declassified CIA interrogation manual does concede that while truth drugs can be useful in overcoming resistance not dissolved by other methods, the actual content of what comes out during the interrogation can be "psychotic manifestations... hallucinations, illusions, delusions or disorientation".
At the 1977 U.S. Senate hearings on its secret mind-control project, the CIA acknowledged that "no such magic brew as the popular notion of truth serum exists".
It also said that even under the best conditions, the barbiturates would elicit an output contaminated by deception, fantasy, garbled speech, and so on. Studies have shown that persons who make truthful confessions are those who were likely to confess had interrogators persisted in using regular methods, and that persons who lie can continue to manifest a lie even under the influence of a so-called truth serum. InThe Rape of the Mind, author and physician Joost Merloo says that the investigator can also induce and communicate his own thoughts and feelings to the suspect.
Scientific literature indicates that if narcoanalysis has any extra-therapeutic uses, it may be in making a suspect feel that he has revealed more than he actually did. With repeated questioning, it may be possible to reduce ambiguities although these cannot be eliminated.
Ban in the U.S.
In 1989, the New Jersey Supreme Court (State v. Pitts) prohibited the use of sodium amytal narcoanalysis because the results of the interview were not considered scientifically reliable, although there was some use to the interviews ("Educing Information" by National Defence Intelligence College). The court opined that subjects are susceptible to filling in gaps in stories with fabricated detail (hyperamnesia), or believing in false events (memory hardening), and hypnotic recall, where thoughts of non-existent events become embedded in the memory. ("Gaps to fill", Frontline; October 20, 2006).
Scientific scepticism and the absence of controlled studies have not deterred Indian investigating agencies from running to the FSL in Gandhinagar or, more likely, Bangalore. FSL Bangalore is the de facto hub for narcoanalysis for various police departments across the country. Narcoanalysis is done using sodium pentothal, in conjunction with three other tests - psychological profiling, polygraph (`lie detector') tests, and brain mapping. Polygraph tests, which one can learn to `pass' or `fail', are used for screening and confirmation purposes only. Brain mapping, a premature if promising technique not entirely free from controversy itself, indicates whether a subject's brain stores experiential knowledge about a certain object. Narcoanalysis is used when investigators need oral elicitations from a suspect. For instance, if brain mapping indicates that the suspect stores information about a blue getaway car allegedly used in the crime, then narcoanalysis, according to the FSL, Bangalore, is used to provide information such as the number of the car, where it is parked, and so on.
Narcoanalysis is usually conducted at Victoria Hospital, Bangalore. In addition to FSL psychologist Dr. S. Malini, who questions the suspect, there is an anaesthetist who administers the drugs and a physician who certifies the subject's fitness for the test. The psychologist also gathers and collates information such as first information reports (FIRs), autopsy reports, and biographical data when preparing for the test. The entire procedure is video-recorded and the subject usually signs a consent form.
Dr. B.M. Mohan, Director of FSL, Bangalore, attributes a 96 to 97 per cent total success rate to narcoanalysis. Included in the definition of total success rate is the discovery of information that either triggers a relevant section of the law or may be cross-verified with other tests (such as brain mapping). Assessments are aided by questionnaires handed out to investigating officers. For instance, if the suspect speaks about a gun hidden in a coconut grove, and this leads the police to recovering the weapon (which is admissible as evidence), it would count towards the success rate. Additionally, if someone mentions a blue car and this is recognised as being stored in the suspect's brain using brain mapping, that too would count towards the total success rate.
G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR
The abundance of scientific literature and forensic and psychiatric opinions on narcoanalysis does not shake Dr. Mohan's claims about the reliability of the practice because he says he has the data from some 300 cases to prove his contentions. Findings that point to the unreliability of narcoanalysis, according to Dr. Mohan, are usually based on studies of scopolamine and sodium amytal and are not applicable to sodium pentothal, which is used by the Indian laboratories. "Many people say there are fantasies in the narco. I totally disagree because they do not know the pharmacokinetics of pentothal sodium," he says, adding that during narcoanalysis the tendency is to sleep if not questioned, rather than hallucinating or fantasising.
There are two problems with this argument. Using sodium pentothal is not a new advance in narcoanalysis. Sodium pentothal was used for several decades in psychotherapy, according to Dr. C.R. Chandrashekhar, Deputy Medical Superintendent and Professor of Psychiatry for almost 30 years at NIMHANS. "Thiopental sodium will not make him [the patient] tell everything that is inside him. There is no guarantee that he will tell the truth," he says. The psychological fraternity around the world has consequently stopped using pentothal in all but the rarest cases, and if it is used, it is always with the consent of the patient.
Dr. Mohan's contention that it is difficult to manifest fantasies in narcoanalysis is also open to debate. False memory is an extremely well-researched area, according to Dr. Chittaranjan Andrade, a Professor of Psychopharmacology at NIMHANS, with at least 25 years of experience. "Even a person who is fully conscious can firmly believe in something that has not happened. There is a lot of research done on this subject," says Dr. Andrade.
Psychiatrists hold that some 50 per cent of all individuals are suggestible even while fully conscious, meaning they can be made to believe events that never actually happened. Therefore, while patients under narcoanalysis may find it difficult to lie consciously depending on the depth of the narcoanalysis, they can certainly say things that are on the surface of their minds. What a person says in a sedated state depends on a lot of factors, including their personality, how awake they are, how strongly they want to deny certain facts, and so on. "Under pentothal narcoanalysis, when inhibitions are lowered, a lot of the unconscious mind of the patient may come to the fore. The patient may say things that he wished were true and not that were necessarily true," says Dr. Andrade.
Explaining the case of a suspect who is repeatedly accused of a crime during regular interrogation, Dr. Andrade says, "The same thing goes on during the narcoanalysis. He [the suspect] remembers `you've done this, you've done this'. He says, `I have done that.'"
When science has outpaced the development of law or at` least the layperson's understanding of it, there are unavoidable complexities regarding what can be admitted as evidence in court. In the U.S. , where science often interfaces uncomfortably with the law, the Supreme Court offered four criteria, part of the Daubert Standard (1993), by which to judge the credibility of a scientific principle held by a minority of practitioners: hypothesis testing; peer review and publication; knowledge of error rates; and acceptability in the general scientific community.
We must give narcoanalysis its due and grant that it has provided valuable leads to the police in some instances. However, one swallow, or even many swallows in this case, does not a summer make. It is logically consistent for even a pseudo-science to produce reliable outcomes in particular cases. The overall reliability and science behind the practice can only be determined after statistical analysis of a sufficiently large sample.
The irony that we face in India is that the science has not leapfrogged the courts by any stretch of imagination. The Bangalore research results and methods have been neither peer-reviewed nor published. Regarding publication of the data, Mohan says he will go public with the FSL data in three to four months (from March 2007), and is willing to debate its implications at international forums. "We have secured convictions, we have secured cross-verification and we have stood through the challenges of the defence," he says. Asked how he could go against scientific practice, by calling data scientific when they have yet to be proved so, Dr. Mohan says, "Otherwise with what courage do you go to the court?" He adds that given the nature of narcoanalysis, it is not possible to get volunteers to facilitate controlled studies. Studies based on some 300-odd criminal investigations are unlikely to consist of controlled experimental data, and the feedback that goes into defining the success of the analysis is in part provided by police questionnaires. Here lurks a conflict of interest.
There are other significant legal aspects to the narcoanalysis debate. In a 2006 judgment (Dinesh Dalmia v. State), the Madras High Court held that subjecting an accused to narcoanalysis is not tantamount to testimony by compulsion. The court said about the accused: "He may be taken to the laboratory for such tests against his will, but the revelation during such tests is quite voluntary." There are two fallacies in this reasoning. First, if narcoanalysis is all that it is made out to be by the Bangalore FSL, the accused will involuntarily answer questions posed to him during the interview. The second fallacy is that it is incorrect to say that the accused is merely taken to the laboratory against his will. He is then injected with substances. The breaking of one's silence at the time it is broken is always technically `voluntary'. Similarly, it can be argued that after being subject to electric shocks, a subject `quite voluntarily' divulges information. But the act or threat of violence is where the element of coercion is housed. In narcoanalysis, the drug contained in the syringe is the element of compulsion. The rest is technically voluntary.
In 2004, the Bombay High Court ruled in the multi-crore-rupee fake stamp paper case that subjecting an accused to certain tests like narcoanalysis does not violate the fundamental right against self-incrimination. Article 20(3) of the Constitution guarantees this: "No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." Statements made under narcoanalysis are not admissible in evidence. However, recoveries resulting from such drugged interviews are admissible as corroborative evidence. This is, arguably, a roundabout way of subverting the right to silence - acquiring the information on where to find the weapon from the subject when, in his right senses, he would not turn witness against himself.
Arguments have been made that narcoanalysis constitutes mental torture. It works by inhibiting the nervous system and thus lowering the subject's inhibitions. It is not difficult to interpret this as a physical violation of an individual's mind-space.
The Bombay train blasts case, the Nithari killers case, and the "beer killer" case in Mumbai (2007) are just a few examples of recent cases that involved narcoanalysis. The sources of demand for this practice are the State police departments. The decision to conduct narcoanalysis is usually made by the Superintendent of Police or the Deputy Inspector-General handling a case. A high-ranking official in the Karnataka Police told Frontline that the Police Departments in India had poor skills when it came to collection, collation and presentation of evidence before the courts. "Investigative skills at the grassroots are dwindling in India," he said. Consequently, when there is enormous pressure on a police department to solve a case, sending suspects to narcoanalysis not only buys time but also gives the impression that something concrete has been done about the case.
This is likely what happened in the Nithari case, where the chief accused, Moninder Singh Pandher, and his domestic help, Surender Koli, were sent to Gandhinagar for narcoanalysis in January 2007, according to a reliable source. Often these decisions are backed up by the genuine belief in the "Bangalore Phenomenon". Bangalore, perceived to be the science hub of India, is mistakenly attributed with being able to use scientific tools to solve any and all investigations.
There are, however, sections of those connected to investigating agencies who feel there is a legitimate case for narcoanalysis. These cases would include the Jessica Lal and Best Bakery investigations where witnesses turned hostile or rape cases where issues of consent are being debated, according to Dr. M.S. Rao, Director and Chief Forensic Scientist at the Directorate of Forensic Sciences, the Home Ministry's forensic science unit.
With the Bombay High Court ruling permitting narcoanalysis, its use should be encouraged in grave offences, writes M. Sivananda Reddy, Superindent of Police for Cyber Crimes at Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Andhra Pradesh. Though he cautions against the abuse of narcoanalysis after extensively acknowledging its many shortcomings, Reddy says that using drugs in investigation is of particular use when the investigating officer is hard pressed for time or working to disrupt imminent plots including terrorist acts.
If this line of argumentation sounds familiar, it is probably because it is as old as controversial investigative methods themselves. The argument has also cropped up frequently in the media after the 9/11 attacks in Alan Dershowitz's ticking-bomb terrorist case, where the Harvard Law School professor argues for legitimising torture in select cases, such as when there is a hypothetical bomb waiting to explode. There are many arguments against the selective use of normally banned cruel practices. Authorities are likely to abuse the power to decide which situations will warrant such exceptions, even when such extraordinary situations are explicitly laid out by law. It will be difficult to find a fool-proof way to determine which suspect is concealing information about a hypothetical bomb. It will often be impossible to know if there is a bomb ticking in the first place. These questions of discretion aside, when a country claims to be committed to human rights and against torture, one may ask if there can ever be a situation that warrants a deviation from its commitment to such principles.
Proponents of narcoanalysis have also argued that the U.S. has secretly resumed truth serum interviews. After 9/11, a Department of Justice Memorandum to the White House discussed options of using truth serums. Additionally, Gerald Posner's book, Why America Slept, alleges that the U.S. covertly allows its intelligence agencies to conduct sodium pentothal interviews. Nevertheless, these instances are behind the eyes of the law and the public, unlike the Indian case. American interrogation techniques are far from being the gold standard, having earned the ire of the international community and large sections of the U.S. population and legislature.
While the expert studies and court opinions available internationally have granted that there may be some use in narcoanalysis, the overwhelming evidence is that narcoanalysis is by no means a reliable science. In the face of a near-consensus internationally, one or two Indian forensic laboratories claim to have new evidence and studies claiming remarkable success rates for the process. It is now incumbent on them to prove their claim that narcoanalysis is backed by sound science. In the absence of proof, narcoanalysis must necessarily be suspended, especially given its ethical and human rights implications.
State governments need to work with the central authorities to enhance the investigative capabilities of their police departments. The Indian criminal justice system has an alarmingly low conviction rate and the situation needs to be rectified with emphasis on real science and state-of-the-art technology. According to one law enforcement official, this starts with training the investigating officer at the constabulary level in basic investigative sciences. Usually it is the investigating officer who takes charge of an investigation, asking the forensic scientist to accompany him to the crime site to collect certain evidence and provide expert opinion on certain aspects of the crime, which the forensic scientist has the expertise to do. Instead, the police now hand over one of the most crucial parts of the investigation to a clinical psychologist conducting narcoanalysis. Interrogation is an art as well as a science. It takes enormous amounts of training and patience - skills evidently lacking in much of the police force and increasingly outsourced to Bangalore.
The Central government must make a clear policy stand on narcoanalysis - because what is at stake is India's commitment to individual freedoms and a clean criminal justice system. In a positive development, the Supreme Court, in November 2006, ordered a stay on a metropolitan judge's order to conduct narcoanalysis on K. Venkateswara Rao, in the Krushi Cooperative Urban Bank case. Rao refused to sign a consent form, and to its credit, the FSL, Gandhinagar, refused to conduct the test without the signed consent form. The Supreme Court decision on the case is awaited and will have a significant bearing on the use of narcoanalysis in India.
New Delhi: In a major setback to investigating agencies, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ruled compulsory brain mapping, narco-analysis and lie detector tests unconstitutional as they violate individual rights.
“We hold that no individual should be forcibly subjected to any of the techniques in question, whether in the context of investigation in criminal cases or otherwise. Doing so would amount to an unwarranted intrusion into personal liberty,” a bench of chief justice KG Balakrishnan, and justices RV Raveendran and JM Panchal said.
Information gained through the tests is already inadmissible in the country’s courts, but the SC ruling makes it clear that the police cannot use the tests or investigate any leads arising thereof unless suspects volunteer.
“Compulsory administration of any of these techniques is an unjustified
intrusion into the mental privacy of an individual. It would also amount to
‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ with regard to the language of evolving
international human rights norms,” the bench said in a 251-page judgment.
They held that compelling public interest cannot justify the dilution of constitutional rights such as the “right against self-incrimination”.
They said that as guardians of fundamental rights, they would be “failing in our duty” if any citizen is permitted to be forcibly subjected to the questionable tests.
The bench described such tests as a form of third degree torture, which could not be permitted to replace existing police behaviour. It discarded the pleas of the states and the Centre that the tests were justified means to tackle terrorism, a crime where investigating agencies are not armed with any tools to find out “ticking bombs”.
Disposing of petitions filed by accused in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the bench said the tests can be administered to a person only with consent and even then National Human Rights Commission guidelines must be adhered to. The person needs to be assisted by a lawyer, his consent needs to be recorded before a magistrate, and he needs to be told about the implications of his consent and the fact that the information thus collected would not be used against him as evidence in court. But information or material collected with the help of a (voluntary) test can be admitted in court under section 27 of the Evidence Act.
The bench refrained from categorically suggesting that the government could enact a law through Parliament to make the tests valid in compelling public interest and exceptional circumstances. But it said the argument merits consideration and it is “the task of legislature to arrive at a pragmatic balance between the often competing interests of personal liberty and public safety”.
Being the constitutional court, the SC can only “seek to preserve
the balance between these competing interests and their interpretation’’, the
The government reacted carefully to the judgment, with a senior attorney welcoming the verdict but saying “something extra is needed to deal with terrorists and militants”.
This article is about the forensic instrument. For the automatic signing instrument, see Autopen. For the dual pen device that produces a simultaneous copy of an original while it is written in cursive writing, seePolygraph (duplicating device).
"Lie detector test" redirects here. For other uses, see Lie detector test (disambiguation).
Polygraph results are sometimes recorded on a chart recorder
A polygraph (popularly referred to as a lie detector) is an instrument that measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, breathing rhythms/ratios, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions, in the belief that deceptive answers will produce physiological responses that can be differentiated from those associated with non-deceptive answers.
Polygraphy is widely rejected as pseudoscience by the scientific community. Nonetheless, polygraphs are in some countries used as an interrogation tool with criminal suspects or candidates for sensitive public or private sector employment. US federal government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA and many police departments such as the LAPD use polygraph examinations to interrogate suspects and screen new employees. Within the US federal government, a polygraph examination is also referred to as a psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) examination.  History
The idea that lying produces physical side-effects has long been claimed. In West Africa persons suspected of a crime were made to pass a bird's egg to one another. If a person broke the egg, then he or she was considered guilty, based on the idea that their nervousness was to blame. In ancient China the suspect held a handful of rice in his or her mouth during a prosecutor's speech. Becausesalivation was believed to cease at times of emotional anxiety, the person was considered guilty if by the end of that speech the rice was dry.
Early devices for lie detection include an 1885 invention of Cesare Lombroso used to measure changes in blood pressure for police cases, a 1904 device by Vittorio Benussi used to measure breathing, and an abandoned project by American William Marston which used blood pressure and galvanic skin response to examine German prisoners of war (POWs).
Sir James Mackenzie of Scone, Scotland invented an early lie detector or polygraph in the 1900s. MacKenzie's polygraph "could be used to monitor the cardiovascular responses of his patients by taking theirpulse and blood pressure. He had developed an early version of his device in the 1890s, but had Sebastian Shaw, a Lancashire watchmaker, improve it further. "This instrument used a clockwork mechanism for the paper-rolling and time-marker movements and it produced ink recordings of physiological functions that were easier to acquire and to interpret. Interestingly, it has been written that the modern polygraph is really a modification of Dr. Mackenzie's clinical ink polygraph." 
A device recording both blood pressure and galvanic skin response was invented in 1911 by Dr. Reginald A. Larson of the University of California and first applied in law enforcement work by the Berkeley Police Department under its nationally renowned police chief August Vollmer. Further work on this device was done by Leonarde Keeler.
Several devices similar to Keeler's polygraph version included the Berkeley Psychograph, a blood pressure-pulse-respiration recorder developed by C. D. Lee in 1936 and the Darrow Behavior Research Photopolygraph, which was developed and intended solely for behavior research experiments.
Marston wrote a second paper on the concept in 1915, when finishing his undergraduate studies. He entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1918, re-publishing his earlier work in 1917. According to their son, Marston's wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, was also involved in the development of the systolic blood pressure test: "According to Marston’s son, it was his mother Elizabeth, Marston’s wife, who suggested to him that 'When she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb' (Lamb, 2001). Although Elizabeth is not listed as Marston’s collaborator in his early work, Lamb, Matte (1996), and others refer directly and indirectly to Elizabeth’s work on her husband’s deception research. She also appears in a picture taken in his polygraph laboratory in the 1920s (reproduced in Marston, 1938)." The comic book character, Wonder Woman, by William Marston (and influenced by Elizabeth Marston) carries a magic lasso which was modelled upon the pneumograph (breathing monitor) test.
Marston was the self-proclaimed “father of the polygraph” despite his predecessor's contributions. Marston remained the device's primary advocate, lobbying for its use in the courts. In 1938 he published a book,The Lie Detector Test, wherein he documented the theory and use of the device. In 1938 he appeared in advertising by the Gillette company claiming that the polygraph showed Gillette razors were better than the competition.
A device which recorded muscular activity accompanying changes in blood pressure was developed in 1945 by John E. Reid, who claimed that greater accuracy could be obtained by making these recordings simultaneously with standard blood pressure-pulse-respiration recordings.
 Testing procedure
A typical polygraph test starts with a pre-test interview to gain some preliminary information which will later be used for "control questions", or CQ. Then the tester will explain how the polygraph is supposed to work, emphasizing that it can detect lies and that it is important to answer truthfully. Then a "stim test" is often conducted: the subject is asked to deliberately lie and then the tester reports that he was able to detect this lie. Then the actual test starts. Some of the questions asked are "irrelevant" or IR ("Is your name Chris Drozdz?"), others are "probable-lie" control questions that most people will lie about ("Have you ever stolen money?") and the remainder are the "relevant questions", or RQ, that the tester is really interested in. The different types of questions alternate. The test is passed if the physiological responses during the probable-lie control questions (CQ) are larger than those during the relevant questions (RQ). If this is not the case, the tester attempts to elicit admissions during a post-test interview, for example, "Your situation will only get worse if we don't clear this up".
Criticisms have been given regarding the validity of the administration of the Comparative Questions test (CQT). The CQT may be vulnerable to being conducted in an interrogation-like fashion. This kind of interrogation style would elicit a nervous response from innocent and guilty suspects alike. There are several other ways of administrating the questions.
An alternative is the Guilty Knowledge test (GKT), or the Concealed Information Test (CIT). The administration of this test is given to prevent potential errors that may arise from the questioning style. The test is usually conducted by a tester with no knowledge of the crime or circumstances in question. The administrator tests the participant on their knowledge of the crime that would not be known to an innocent person. For example: "Was the crime committed with a .45 or a 9 mm?" The questions are in multiple choice and the participant is rated on how they react to the correct answer. If they react strongly to the guilty information, then proponents of the test believe that it is likely that they know facts relevant to the case. This administration is considered more valid by supporters of the test because it contains many safeguards to avoid the risk of the administrator influencing the results.
Polygraphy has little credibility among scientists. Despite claims of 90-95% validity by polygraph advocates, and 95-100% by businesses providing polygraph services, critics maintain that rather than a "test", the method amounts to an inherently unstandardizable interrogation technique whose accuracy cannot be established. A 1997 survey of 421 psychologists estimated the test's average accuracy at about 61%, a little better than chance. Critics also argue that even given high estimates of the polygraph's accuracy a significant number of subjects (e.g. 10% given a 90% accuracy) will appear to be lying, and would unfairly suffer the consequences of "failing" the polygraph. In the 1998 Supreme Court case, United States v. Scheffer, the majority stated that "There is simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable" and "Unlike other expert witnesses who testify about factual matters outside the jurors' knowledge, such as the analysis of fingerprints, ballistics, or DNA found at a crime scene, a polygraph expert can supply the jury only with another opinion..." Also, in 2005 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that “polygraphy did not enjoy general acceptance from the scientific community”. Charles Honts, a psychology professor at Boise State University, states that polygraph interrogations give a high rate of false positives on innocent people. In 2001 William G. Iacono, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director, Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research Training Program at the University of Minnesota, published a paper titled “Forensic “Lie Detection": Procedures Without Scientific Basis” in the peer reviewed Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice. He concluded that
Although the CQT [Control Question Test] may be useful as an investigative aid and tool to induce confessions, it does not pass muster as a scientifically credible test. CQT theory is based on naive, implausible assumptions indicating (a) that it is biased against innocent individuals and (b) that it can be beaten simply by artificially augmenting responses to control questions. Although it is not possible to adequately assess the error rate of the CQT, both of these conclusions are supported by published research findings in the best social science journals (Honts et al., 1994; Horvath, 1977; Kleinmuntz & Szucko, 1984; Patrick & Iacono, 1991). Although defense attorneys often attempt to have the results of friendly CQTs admitted as evidence in court, there is no evidence supporting their validity and ample reason to doubt it. Members of scientific organizations who have the requisite background to evaluate the CQT are overwhelmingly skeptical of the claims made by polygraph proponents. 
Summarizing the consensus in psychological research, professor David W. Martin, PhD, from North Carolina State University, states that people have tried to use the polygraph for measuring human emotions, but there is simply no royal road to (measuring) human emotions. Therefore, since one cannot reliably measure human emotions (especially when one has an interest in hiding his/her emotions), the idea of valid detection of truth or falsehood through measuring respiratory rate, blood volume, pulse rate and galvanic skin response is a mere pretense. Since psychologists cannot ascertain what emotions one has,polygraph professionals are not able to do that either.
Polygraphy has also been faulted for failing to trap known spies such as double-agent Aldrich Ames, who passed two polygraph tests while spying for the Soviet Union. Other spies who passed the polygraph include Karl Koecher, Ana Belen Montes, and Leandro Aragoncillo. However, CIA spy Harold James Nicholson failed his polygraph examinations, which aroused suspicions that led to his eventual arrest. Polygraph examination and background checks failed to detect Nada Nadim Prouty, who was not a spy but was convicted for improperly obtaining US citizenship and using it to obtain a restricted position at the FBI.
Conversely, innocent people have been known to fail polygraph tests. In Wichita, Kansas in 1986, after failing two polygraph tests (one police administered, the other given by an expert that he had hired), Bill Wegerle had to live under a cloud of suspicion of murdering his wife Vicki Wegerle, even though he was neither arrested nor convicted of her death. In March 2004, a letter was sent to The Wichita Eagle reporter Hurst Laviana that contained Vicki's drivers license and what first appeared to be crime scene photographs of her body. The photos had actually been taken by her true murderer, BTK, the serial killer that had plagued the people of Wichita since 1974 and had recently resurfaced in February 2004 after an apparent 25 year period of dormancy (he had actually killed three women between 1985 and 1991, including Wegerle). That effectively cleared Bill Wegerle of the murder of his wife. In 2005 conclusive DNA evidence including DNA retrieved from under the fingernails of Vicki Wegerle, demonstrated that the BTK Killer was Dennis Rader
Prolonged polygraph examinations are sometimes used as a tool by which confessions are extracted from a defendant, as in the case of Richard Miller, who was persuaded to confess largely by polygraph results combined with appeals from a religious leader.
Law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies in the United
States are by far the biggest users of polygraph technology. In the United
States alone all federal law enforcement agencies either employ their own
polygraph examiners or use the services of examiners employed in other
agencies. This is despite persistent claims of unreliability. For example in
1978 Richard Helms, the 8th Director of
Central Intelligence, stated that:
Several countermeasures designed to pass polygraph tests have been described. Asked how he passed the polygraph test, Ames explained that he sought advice from his Soviet handler and received the simple instruction to: "Get a good night's sleep, and rest, and go into the test rested and relaxed. Be nice to the polygraph examiner, develop a rapport, and be cooperative and try to maintain your calm."
Other suggestions for countermeasures include for the subject to mentally record the control and relevant questions as the examiner reviews them prior to commencing the interrogation. Once the interrogation begins, the subject is then supposed to carefully control their breathing during the relevant questions, and to try to artificially increase their heart rate during the control questions, such as by thinking of something scary or exciting or by pricking themselves with a pointed object concealed somewhere on their body. In this way the results will not show a significant reaction to any of the relevant questions.
 2003 National Academy of Sciences report
The accuracy of the polygraph has been contested almost since the introduction of the device. In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report entitled "The Polygraph and Lie Detection". The NAS found that the majority of polygraph research was "Unreliable, Unscientific and Biased", concluding that 57 of the approximately 80 research studies that the APA relies on to come to their conclusions were significantly flawed. These studies concluded that a polygraph test regarding a specific incident can discern the truth at "a level greater than chance, yet short of perfection"though NAS did restrict almost all of its conclusions to polygraph usage for "security screening" purposes. It did not focus on forensic applications, polygraph testing commonly plays a role in helping to resolve criminal investigations.. The report also concluded that this level of accuracy was overstated and the levels of accuracy shown in these studies "are almost certainly higher than actual polygraph accuracy of specific-incident testing in the field."
When polygraphs are used as a screening tool (in national security matters and for law enforcement agencies for example) the level of accuracy drops to such a level that "Its accuracy in distinguishing actual or potential security violators from innocent test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee security screening in federal agencies." In fact, the NAS extrapolated that if the test were sensitive enough to detect 80% of spies (a level of accuracy which it did not assume), this would hardly be sufficient anyway. Let us take for example a hypothetical polygraph screening of a body of 10,000 employees among which are 10 spies. With an 80% success rate, the polygraph test would show that 8 spies and 1,992 non-spies fail the test. Thus, roughly 99.6 percent of positives (those failing the test) would be falsepositives. The NAS concluded that the polygraph "...may have some utility" but that there is "little basis for the expectation that a polygraph test could have extremely high accuracy."
 Admissibility of polygraphs in court
 United States
In 2007[update], polygraph testimony was admitted by stipulation in 19 states, and was subject to the discretion of the trial judge in federal court. The use of polygraph in court testimony remains controversial, although it is used extensively in post-conviction supervision, particularly of sex offenders. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993), the old Frye standard was lifted and all forensic evidence, including polygraph, had to meet the new Daubert standard in which "underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly can be applied to the facts at issue." While polygraph tests are commonly used in police investigations in the US, no defendant or witness can be forced to undergo the test. In United States v. Scheffer (1998), the U.S. Supreme Court left it up to individual jurisdictions whether polygraph results could be admitted as evidence in court cases. Nevertheless, it is used extensively by prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement agencies. In the States of Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Iowa it is illegal for any employer to order a polygraph either as conditions to gain employment, or if an employee has been suspected of wrongdoing. The Employee Polygraph Protection Actof 1988 (EPPA) generally prevents employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain exemptions.
In the United States, the State of New Mexico admits polygraph testing in front of juries under certain circumstances. In many other states, polygraph examiners are permitted to testify in front of judges in various types of hearings (Motion to Revoke Probation, Motion to Adjudicate Guilt).
In 2007, in Ohio v. Sharma, an Ohio trial court overruled the objections of a prosecutor and allowed a polygraph examiner to testify regarding a specific issue criminal examination. The court took the position that the prosecutors regularly used a polygraph examiner to conduct criminal tests against defendants, but only objected to the examiner's testimony when the results contradicted what they hoped to achieve. Dr. Louis Rovner , a polygraph expert from California, tested the defendant and testified as an expert witness both at a pretrial admissibility hearing and at trial. The defendant, who had been charged with sexual battery, was acquitted.
In most European jurisdictions, polygraphs are not considered reliable evidence and are not generally used by police forces. However, in any lawsuit, an involved party can order a psychologist to write an opinion based on polygraph results to substantiate the credibility of its claims. The party must bear the expense themselves, and the court weighs the opinion like any other opinion the party has ordered. Courts themselves do not order or pay for polygraph tests. In most cases, polygraph tests are voluntarily taken by a defendant in order to substantiate his or her claims.
In Canada, the polygraph is regularly used as a forensic tool in the investigation of criminal acts and sometimes employed in the screening of employees for government organizations. In the 1987 decision of R. v. Béland, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the use of polygraph results as evidence in court. This decision did not however affect the use of the polygraph in criminal investigations. The polygraph continues to be used as an investigative tool.
The High Court of Australia has not yet considered the admissibility of polygraph evidence. However, the New South Wales District Court rejected the use of the device in a criminal trial. In Raymond George Murray 1982 7A Crim R48 Sinclair DCJ refused to admit polygraph evidence tending to support the defence. His Worship rejected the evidence because
The Court cited, with approval, the Canadian case of Phillion v R 1978 1SCR 18.
The High Court of Israel, in Civil Appeal 551/89 (Menora Insurance Vs. Jacob Sdovnik), ruled that as the polygraph has not been recognized as a reliable device, polygraph results are inadmissible as evidence in acivil trial. In other decisions, polygraph results were ruled inadmissible in criminal trials. However, some insurance companies attempt to include a clause in insurance contracts, in which the beneficiary agrees that polygraph results be admissible as evidence. In such cases, where the beneficiary has willingly agreed to such a clause, signed the contract, and taken the test, the courts will honor the contract, and take the polygraph results into consideration. Interestingly, it is common practice for lawyers to advise people who signed such contracts to refuse to take the test. Depending on whether or not the beneficiary signed an agreements clause, and whether the test was already taken or not, such a refusal usually has no ill effects; at worst, the court will simply order the person to take the test as agreed. At best, the court will cancel the clause and release the person from taking the test, or rule the evidence inadmissible.
Recently an Indian court adopted the brain electrical oscillations signature test as evidence to convict a woman, who was accused of murdering her fiance. It is the first time that the result of polygraph was used as evidence in court. On May 5th, 2010, The Supreme Court of India declared use of narcoanalysis, brain mapping and polygraph tests on suspects as illegal and as against constitution.
 Use with espionage and security clearances
In the American military and intelligence communities, polygraphs have been administered both as terms of qualifying for a security clearance and as part of a periodic reinvestigation to retain a clearance. There is no uniform standard for whether the polygraph is needed, as some methods of adjudication do not demand a successful polygraph test to earn a clearance. Other agencies, particularly certain military units, actually prohibit polygraph testing on their members.
It is difficult to precisely determine the effectiveness of polygraph results for the detection or deterrence of spying. Failure of a polygraph test could cause revocation of a security clearance, but it is inadmissible evidence in most federal courts and military courts martial. The polygraph is more often used as a deterrent to espionage rather than detection. One exception to this was the case of Harold James Nicholson, a CIA employee later convicted of spying for Russia. In 1995, Nicholson had undergone his periodic five year reinvestigation where he showed a strong probability of deception on questions regarding relationships with a foreign intelligence unit. This polygraph test later launched an investigation which resulted in his eventual arrest and conviction. In most cases, however, polygraphs are more of a tool to "scare straight" those who would consider espionage. Jonathan Pollard was advised by his Israeli handlers that he was to resign his job from American intelligence if he was ever told he was subject to a polygraph test. Likewise,John Anthony Walker was advised to by his handlers not to engage in espionage until he had been promoted to the highest position for which a polygraph test was not required, to refuse promotion to higher positions for which polygraph tests were required, and to retire when promotion was mandated. As part of his plea bargain agreement for his case of espionage for the Soviet Union, Robert Hanssen would be made to undergo a polygraph at any time as part of damage assessment. In Hanssen's 25-year career with the FBI, not once was he made to undergo a polygraph. He later said that if he had been ordered to, he may have thought twice about espionage.
Alternatively, the use of polygraph testing, where it causes desperation over dismissal for past dishonesty, may encourage spying. For example, Edward Lee Howard was dismissed from the CIA when, during a polygraph screening, he truthfully answered a series of questions admitting to minor crimes such as petty theft and drug abuse. The CIA failed to see that the firing was an action that would logically anger Howard, and in retaliation for his perceived unjust punishment for minor offenses, he later sold his knowledge of CIA operations to the Soviet Union.
It is also worth noting that polygraph tests may not deter espionage. From 1945 to the present, at least six Americans had been committing espionage while they successfully passed polygraph tests. Two of the most notable cases of two men who created a false negative result with the polygraphs were Larry Wu-Tai Chin and Aldrich Ames. Ames was given two polygraph examinations while with the CIA, the first in 1986 and the second in 1991. The CIA reported that he passed both examinations after experiencing initial indications of deception. According to a Senate investigation, an FBI review of the first examination concluded that the indications of deception were never resolved. The Senate committee reported that the second examination, at a time when Ames was under suspicion, resulted in indications of deception and a retest a few days later with a different examiner. The second examiner concluded that there were no further indications of deception. In the CIA's analysis of the second exam, they were critical of their own failure to convey to their examiner the existing suspicions that were not addressed in the examination.
 Hand-held lie detector for U.S. military
A hand-held lie detector is being deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense according to a report in 2008 by investigative reporter Bill Dedman of msnbc.com. The Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System, or PCASS, captures less physiological information than a polygraph, and uses an algorithm, not the judgment of a polygraph examiner, to render a decision whether it believes the person is being deceptive or not. The device will be used first in Afghanistan by U.S. Army troops. The Department of Defense orders limit its use to non-U.S. persons.
 Use with sex offenders
Sexual offenders are now routinely polygraphed in many states of the United States and it is often a mandatory condition of probation or parole. In Texas, a state appellate court has upheld the testing of sex offenders under community supervision and has also upheld written statements given by sex offenders if they have committed a further offense with new victims. These statements are then used when a motion is filed to revoke probation and the probationer may then be sentenced to prison for having violated his or her probation.
Regular polygraph testing is sometimes also used during the rehabilitation of convicted sex offenders. Questioning the offender specifically about their inner thoughts, desires, and impulses is intended to give a general indication of their treatment progress and likelihood of future offenses. Similarly, predatory or violent offenders at some facilities may also undergo testing for involuntary physical arousal when shown provocative images relating to their past crimes. Perhaps the most well-known example of this rehabilitation technique is practiced at Coalinga State Hospital in California.
A significant number of Federal appeals courts have upheld polygraph testing for Federal probationers as well. The most recent decision was by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding a New York sex offender.
 Polygraphy in popular culture
Lie detection has a long history in mythology and fairy tales; the polygraph has allowed modern fiction to use a device more easily seen as scientific and plausible. Notable instances of polygraph usage include uses in crime and espionage themed television shows and some daytime television talk shows, cartoons and films. The most notable polygraph TV show is Lie Detector, which first aired in the 1950s created and hosted by Ralph Andrews. Then in the 1960s Ralph produced a series of specials hosted by Melvin Belli, then in the 1970s hosted by Jack Anderson. In 1998 TV producer Mark Phillips with his Mark Phillips Philms & Telephision put Lie Detector back on the air on the FOX Network—on that program Dr. Ed Gelb with host Marcia Clark cleared Mark Fuhrman from the allegation that he "planted the bloody glove." Later Phillips produced Lie Detector as a series for PAX/ION—some of the guests included Paula Jones, Reverend Paul Crouch accuser Lonny Ford, Ben Rowling, Jeff Gannon and Swift Boat Vet Steve Garner.
FOX has taken this one step further with their game show The Moment of Truth which pits people's honesty against their own sense of modesty, propriety, etc. Contestants are given a polygraph test administered by a polygraph expert in a pre-screening session answering over 50 questions. Later they must sit in front of a studio audience including their friends & family for the televised portion of the show. There they need only answer 21 answers truthfully "as determined by the polygraph" to win $500,000. The questions get more personal and/or more revealing as they advance. Most polygraph experts caution that the polygraph techniques used on Moment of Truth do not conform to any known or accepted methods of polygraphy.
In one MacGyver episode 'Slow Death', MacGyver assists the Indian tribesmen by improvising a polygraph to weed out the crooked doctor. This is made possible by using an analog sphygmomanometer to monitor blood pressure change, and an electronic alarm clock to detect sweat. To test its reliability, MacGyver asked a passenger on the train a few 'placebo' questions. The culprit was only discovered when he was trying to hide his crime, thus his sweat triggered the alarm clock and blood pressure climbed up.
In the movie Ocean's 13, one of the characters beats a polygraph test by stepping on a tack when answering truthfully, which supposedly raises the polygraph's readings for the truthful answers so they equal the deceptive ones.
In the television series Profit, there is a memorable sequence at the end of episode "Healing" where the eponymous character, Jim Profit, manages to fool a polygraph. He does that by putting a nail through the sole of his shoe and pushing it inside of his heel while answering every question in order to even out the readings. This scene is very graphic, especially for its time, 1996. During a voice over, Profit explains the theory behind the polygraph and the flaws he intends to exploit in it.
In episode 93 of the USA popular science show Mythbusters, they attempted to fool the polygraph by using pain to try to increase the readings when answering truthfully (so the machine will supposedly interpret the truthful and non-truthful answers as the same.) They also attempted to fool the polygraph by thinking happy thoughts when lying and thinking stressful thoughts when telling the truth to try to confuse the machine. However, neither technique was successful for a number of reasons. Michael Martin correctly identified each guilty and innocent subject. The show also noted the opinion that, when done properly, polygraphs are correct 80-99% of the time.
In season 7, episode 5 of Penn & Teller's Showtime series Bullshit!, it was claimed and appeared to have been demonstrated that polygraphs can be confused or beaten by tightening up one's anal sphincter. Doug Williams, a former Oklahoma City police polygraph examiner, explained that many large arteries exist around the anal sphincter and that by tightening the muscles, the arteries will constrict, raising one's blood pressure, and registering a lie. It was then demonstrated by having a woman hooked up to a polygraph, having her write a number from 1-10 on a piece of paper (she chose 7), deny that she chose each number as asked by the examiner but tighten up her anal sphincter on the number 7. Doing this on the number 7 caused it to register as a lie, even though she was telling the truth. This episode also touched on people who have lost their security clearances, and subsequently their jobs, due to failing a polygraph even though they claimed to have told the complete and honest truth.
Polygraph testing is widely used in the intelligence community to screen employees, to establish eligibility for access to classified intelligence information, and for general counterintelligence purposes. It is also used as a tool in the investigation of unauthorized disclosures of classified information and other offenses.
Growing awareness of the limitations of polygraph testing, coupled with official efforts to expand its application, have produced a new degree of controversy over this technology.
Court Rejects Legal Challenge to Polygraph Testing, memorandum opinion in Croddy, et al, v. FBI, October 2, 2006
Dept of Energy Counterintelligence Polygraph Policy, Federal Register, September 29, 2006. "The question of whether and to what extent DOE should use the polygraph as a tool for screening individuals for access to our most sensitive information is the latest manifestation of this perennial struggle."
Use of Polygraph Examinations in the Department of Justice, DoJ Office of Inspector General, September 2006. "In this report, we provide a detailed description of how polygraphs are used throughout the Department."
on Department of Energy Polygraph Program