Is there any truth in the Truth Serum?

By Devil’s Advocate


Former Mumbai Police Commissioner, R S Sharma was the biggest catch in the fake stamp paper racket. Infact his arrest too was amidst high drama. The Stamp Investigation Team arrested him a day after he resigned.

Now coming to the real issue. Mr. Sharma was cleared of all charges by a Mumbai court and today the man walks free after a three year stint in jail. The court while acquitting him observed that there was no evidence against him.

This brings us to the key issue. Is narco analysis really as truthful as it is claimed? The narco analysis of Telgi (kingpin), polygraph of former Mumbai cop, Dilip Nayak did make several references to Sharma’s involvement in the scam either directly or indirectly. Newspapers lapped up the news at that time and the investigating agency spoke as though they had hit the final nail in the coffin where Sharma was concerned.

With this acquittal the question is whether a narco test has any value in the eyes of law. Time and again, courts have disapproved of this investigating tool and have said in clear terms that it cannot be used as evidence. It seems as though this particular case has proved the courts right. Another thing which could be said is that the investigating agency did not do enough to use the leads they got through these narco tests.

Although the FSL at Bangalore swears that there is nothing but the truth in narco tests, this claim now seems doubtful. It seems as though a persons thoughts can be controlled during the tests and it has become a habit for criminals to throw big names while being questioned. It is not as though the FSL or the investigating agency do not know about these things.

Unfortunately, the narco tests were leaked and were used as weapons of political destruction. It is also very sad that all the effort that goes into a narco analysis test just goes down the drain as what is being noticed is that investigating agencies are really not making use of these tests. They too are using it to sensationalise the issue.

We are in an age where there is a strong demand to do away with the concept of third degree treatment in police stations. The only way to overcome this is by adopting scientific methods.

The debate on the credibility of these tests will continue for long. However it is time that investigating agencies use such tests to their advantage and convince the courts regarding its necessity. The courts too have to accept such methods. However it is unfortunate that courts too do not seem to give any kind of clarity on the use of narco analysis as an investigating tool.

I firmly believe that using this test as evidence will have nothing but a disastrous effect. The solution would be to frame guidelines while conducting such tests. Guidelines could include:

a) Consent of the accused

b) Presence of the advocate and family members of the accused during the test

c) Conduct all three tests- narco, polygraph and brain mapping to get some clarity on the issue. In 99 per cent of the cases, the three tests have not been conducted.

d) Use it only as an investigating tool.



10 Responses to Is there any truth in the Truth Serum?

  1. danny says:

    basically the SIT had bungled. they had the leads, but did not utilise it. The SIT has given a bad name to science

  2. goyal says:

    i hope the courts do lay down a law. It is really needed

  3. sharma says:

    just because the man has been acquitted all these issues are being raised. come on there might have really been no evidence against him

  4. Karat says:

    why blame the court for not laying down guidelines? how much interest have the police shown. do they need it

  5. dcosta says:

    sad that after so much drama he was let off. difficult to come to any kind of conclusion on this case

  6. Farid says:

    i feel sorry for telgi. He is the real kingpin alrite, but everybody used him and he seems to be the only person getting convicted. It is a known fact that a racket of this magnitude cannot be run without the help of big wigs

  7. sal says:

    The narco test is bogus. there is no truth in it. just hype

  8. machine says:

    guidelines are really necessry. guess there is too much talk about the narco. but how many are really bothered to make use of it.every third criminal is being subject to the test. but how cases are reaching the logical end

  9. sainath says:

    the police should file a PIL seeking guidelines for narco tests

  10. Vrksha says:

    Well, I really feel pity for Telgi when it comes to the conviction point. Bcoz, as farid said, All the Big shots(Politicians) r left free who were all suspected. If v just look at the Narco of Telgi. Upto wht extent did stampit or CBI make use of that as investigating tool. wht is the end result…? A big ZERO…..!

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