A complainant cannot be forced to undergo deception detection tests like narco analysis, polygraph and brain mapping to determine if a complaint is genuine and it is for the investigating agencies to uncover the truth, the Delhi High Court has ruled.
The court stated this while rejecting a PIL, which sought directions for subjecting complainants to such tests to ascertain the veracity of their claims and contended that it would work as a deterrent and will reduce fake cases.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, while dealing with the petition by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, observed that the law provides remedies to a person against whom any false complaint is made and it is well settled that courts do not interfere with the probe which is purely the domain of investigating agency.
“The Constitution provides for special provisions for an accused. In case of a false complaint, there are other remedies which are available in law.
“In view of the above, a complainant definitely cannot be forced to go through deception detection tests such as brain mapping test, polygraph test, narco analysis, lie detector tests, etc. to ascertain the veracity of the complaint before the investigation starts against the accused,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad, in the order passed on July 3.
“The issue regarding the reliability of brain mapping test, polygraph test, Narco analysis, lie detector tests, etc. is still under a lot of debate and a writ of mandamus can certainly not be passed by the Courts to the authorities to conduct such tests in order to ascertain the veracity of the complainant…The petition is dismissed,” the court ordered.
The court asserted that if the petition is allowed, it would lead to further humiliation of the complainants, especially women who have been accorded special protection under the Criminal Procedure Code.
“It is well settled that courts do not interfere with the investigation as an investigation is purely the domain of investigating agency. The prayer which is sought by the petitioner in the present PIL, if accepted, can result in further humiliation of the complainant, more so if the complainant is a lady for whom special protection/provisions have been made in the Cr.P.C. It is for the investigating agencies to uncover the truth,” the court said.
It also noted that even the 277th Report of the Law Commission did not recommend that a complainant must undergo scientific tests like Narco Analysis, Polygraphy, Brain mapping, etc. to ascertain the veracity of the complaint and it only stated that there has to be a more effective mechanism to adequately compensate an accused who is a victim of wrongful prosecution.
The petitioner informed the court that he filed the present petition after an allegedly wrong complaint was filed against a journalist. He argued that had the complainant undergone a brain-mapping test, the humiliation and arrest of the journalist could have been avoided.
The court, however, opined that the petition was “completely misplaced”.
In the petition, Upadhyay had sought directions to the police to ask the complainant “whether she is willing to undergo scientific tests like narco analysis, polygraph and brain mapping during an investigation to prove her allegation” and record her statement in the First Information Report (FIR).
The petitioner had said similar directions be made in respect of an accused and his or her statement be recorded in the charge sheet.
He said this would work as a deterrent and will reduce fake cases.
The petitioner had also sought to direct the Law Commission to examine the best practices of developed countries and prepare a detailed report to control fake cases and reduce police investigation time and precious judicial time.
The plea had said this will also save the public money spent on the investigation and trial and will secure the right to life, liberty, dignity and justice of thousands of innocent citizens who are under tremendous physical mental trauma and financial stress due to fake cases.