Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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By G. Anand
A Crime Branch source said a combination of the polygraph test, the P-300 brain-wave test and `narco-analysis' using sodium amytal was likely to be employed to get to the truth in several cases, including the sensational "intelligence document forgery'' case.
Recently, the police were exposed to the advantages of using polygraph, P-300 and the `truth drug' as part of investigation. The classes were conducted by Malini, attached to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory of Karnataka.
The `truth drug' is administered under medical supervision and is intended to weaken the individual's psychological defences to the point that he unknowingly reveals the truth that he is trying to conceal.
The source said the drug was used by the Karnataka police to interview certain persons known to be close to the sandalwood smuggler, Veerappan. The drug works by stimulating the recall of suppressed memory during structured questioning.
The Crime Branch was consulting senior Government lawyers and prosecutors on the legal aspects of the use of these tests. Moves were afoot to procure judicial sanction for conducting these tests on subjects in some key cases.
The use of sodium amytal was developed in the West in 1940 as an alternative to third degree methods of interrogation.
The technique is to slowly administer an intravenous injection of Sodium Pentathol diluted with dextrose till the subject becomes "relaxed'' and lapses into a state of narcosis, indicated by slurred speech.
The interviewer, a psychiatrist, then engages the subject in conversation to "break the ice'' before questions relevant to the crime are asked. The drug removes the "mental blocks'' that help the subject to conceal the truth.
Apart from judicial permission, the use of the `truth drug' requires the full consent of the subject.
It is also imperative that the subject is physically and mentally fit. Since medical support systems are required to conduct a `narco-analysis', the Crime Branch is also in consultation with medical experts, the source said.
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