TAG: GS 2: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
THE CONTEXT: The Delhi Police have sought permission from the court to conduct a polygraph test on six accused individuals related to the Parliament security breach.
- Additional Sessions Judge postponed the matter to January 2, noting the absence of legal representation for some of the accused.
- The Delhi Police’s Special Cell continues its investigation into the Parliament breach.
- They took two accused to various locations in Delhi linked to the incident.
- Representing the Delhi Police, public prosecutor asserted that the breach was a meticulously planned attack.
- He emphasized the necessity of custodial interrogation to uncover the actual motives behind the incident.
- There are suspicions regarding potential connections of the accused with hostile nations or terrorist organizations, warranting further investigation.
- Custody and Charges Against the Accused: There are six accused individuals. They are facing charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including criminal conspiracy and evidence destruction, related to their alleged involvement in the Parliament security breach.
- The Delhi Police’s pursuit of a polygraph test aims to delve deeper into the motives behind the breach.
- Such tests may provide additional insights into the accused’s involvement, uncover any hidden associations, and shed light on the extent of their planning and connections.
Severity of Charges and Investigation Focus
- The application of UAPA and other stringent sections of the IPC highlights the seriousness of the alleged offense.
- The focus on uncovering any potential links with external entities or terrorist organizations signifies the gravity of the case and the need for a thorough investigation.
- A polygraph test is carried out on the assumption that physiological responses triggered when one is lying are different from what they otherwise would be.
- Rather than injecting drugs into the body, polygraph tests attach instruments like cardio-cuffs or sensitive electrodes to the suspect and measure variables such as blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, change in sweat gland activity, blood flow, etc., while the suspect is being questioned.
- In a ‘narco’ or narco analysis test, a drug called sodium pentothal is injected into the body of the accused, which transports them to a hypnotic or sedated state in which their imagination is neutralised.
- In this hypnotic state, the accused is understood as being incapable of lying and is expected to divulge information that is true.
- Sodium pentothal or sodium thiopental is a fast-acting, short-duration anaesthetic used in larger doses to sedate patients during surgery.
- It belongs to the barbiturate class of drugs that act on the central nervous system as depressants.
- Because the drug is believed to weaken the subject’s resolve to lie, it is sometimes referred to as a “truth serum”.
Article 20(3) of the Constitution:
- Indian Constitution provides immunity to an accused against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) which states ‘No person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself’.
- This privilege is only available to a person accused of an offence i.e. “person against whom a formal accusation relating to the commission of an offence has been levelled, which may result in prosecution”.
- In India, a formal accusation can be made by lodging of an F.I.R. or a formal complaint against a person accusing him of committing a crime, it is not necessary that the trial or enquiry should have commenced before a court.
- Article 20 (3) does not apply to departmental inquiries into allegations against a government servant since there is no accusation of any offence.
- The privilege against self-incrimination is available at both trial and pre-trial stage i.e. when the police investigation is going on and the person is regarded as an accused, or even if his name is not mentioned in the FIR as an accused.
- The developments in the Parliament breach case underscore the ongoing investigative efforts by the Delhi Police to ascertain the motives and associations behind the incident.
- The pursuit of a polygraph test and visits to key locations demonstrate a concerted effort to unravel the details of the well-planned breach.
- The legal proceedings and charges against the accused emphasize the gravity of the situation, necessitating a comprehensive investigation to ensure justice and uphold security standards.