What to make of Sevli v. State of Karnataka, and the tension between investigative imperatives and a suspect’s right against self-incrimination? In this opinion piece in today’s The Indian Express, I argue that hopefully, the judgment will be read narrowly. In an earlier blog post, Taunabh has already laid out the case details. One fascinating aspect, which my piece does not explore, is the thin dividing line between a medical test (DNA samples, for instance), where consent is not required, and a “testimony”, where it is. The court terms brain-mapping as a testimony, but is it really?
Section 29 evidence acts makes confessions relevant if are made under the influence of intoxication i.e under the influence of liquor. Same thing is in narco test where the accused is under the influence of medicines in a scientific manner. His confession is not admissible but the information which he gives which leads to the recovery of any incriminatory evidence that can be admissible under section 27 of evidence act. there is no use of any torture or any third degree while taking the information from accuse which are deemed to be voluntary and in no way are in violation of Art 20 (3) of constitution.
More over quetions are being asked by investigation agencies relating to offence and not to his personal life , so there is no question of any invasion in his mind which violates his right of privacy under art 21.
If there can be reasonable classification under art 14 for a special class on the bases of reasonable intelligible differentia , then why can be such type of classification for hardcore criminals who have no social values. they should be kept away from the perview of it, even narco test against will amounts to violation of art 20(3) or 21.
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