IT? 'Truth serums' are drugs used in narco-analysis that cause
a person to become uninhibited and talkative, but they do not guarantee
the veracity of the subject’s statement. People who are under
the influence of truth serums enter a hypnotic state and speak freely
about anxieties or painful memories. The subject’s imagination
is neutralised when semi-conscious, making it difficult for him/her
to lie and his/her answers would be restricted to facts he/she is aware
IS IT RELIABLE?
Although inhibitions are generally reduced, people under the influence
of truth serums are still able to lie and even tend to fantasise.
THE DRUGS USED? Sodium pentothal is an ultrashort-acting barbiturate,
which sedates only for a few minutes. It slows down the heart rate,
lowers blood pressure, and inhibits brain and spinal cord activity.
Sodium amytal and Scopolamine are other drugs used.
Such tests generally don’t have legal validity as confessions
made by a semi-conscious person are not admissible in court. The court
may, however, grant limited admissibility after considering the circumstances
under which the test was obtained. In the main, these tests can only
assist police investigations. In the Telgi case, the court permitted
the tests to help the probe.
‘It is difficult
to use third degree methods to extract information. To know whether
the accused is speaking the truth or not, these tools come handy. This
method should get a legal standing as early as possible to punish the