Narco-analysis testing facility in Delhi expected to be operational soon: Officials

The narco analysis testing facility in the national capital is expected to start soon and six experts from the Forensic Science Laboratory here underwent a week-long training session in Gujarat recently to equip themselves about the techniques involved in it, officials said on Sunday.

Officials at FSL, Rohini said after their return from Ahmedabad, the team also conducted two dummy exercises under the supervision of medical experts at the Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital here where the narco-analysis testing facility has been set up.

The facility, which was expected to start much earlier, could not commence due to various reasons, FSL officials said.

They cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons that led to further delay, saying there were restrictions on physical movement while training institutes were also closed.

However, as the situation improved, our experts were sent for training and the facility is expected to start soon, they said.

FSL director Deepa Verma said, “We are in the process of finalising the procedure and we expect the facility to start shortly. For this, we also organised a full-fledged training session for our experts.

“Our team was sent to Ahmedabad recently where they underwent training and based on the information they got from the session, our experts are further preparing themselves.”

The direction for setting up a narco-analysis facility came in 2019 while the Delhi High Court was hearing a habeas corpus petition by a man seeking to trace his four-and-a-half years old son who had gone missing since August 4, 2018.

The court was left surprised when it was informed that no such facility was available in the national capital and the narco-analysis test had to be done in Gujarat following which it directed the AAP government to set up the facility here.

In October 2020, however, the AAP government informed the Delhi High Court that the facility has been set up at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital in Rohini but it could not start due to the pandemic.

When contacted, Dr, Naveen Kumar, who is an anaesthetist at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital said, “The hospital is offering its operation theatre to the FSL team which will perform the narco analysis test here.

“The role of the doctors would be to inject the medicine and monitor the health of the patient when the narco analysis is being done.”

He added “We are hopeful that the facility will be operational soon.”

An official from FSL, Rohini said as part of their week-long training in Gujarat, the experts from the psychology division, who will be conducting the narco analysis test once the facility becomes operational, learned the techniques involved while performing the narco analysis test on a person, to monitor their frame of mind, the kind of questionnaire to be prepared and how to approach the case.

The experts will be conducting their analysis under the supervision of an anaesthetist and video record the entire process, he said.

Incharge, Crime Scene Management, Sanjeev Gupta said, “The consent of the suspect is necessary to administer the narco test. Investigating agencies are employing these tests in the investigation as a soft alternative in fact finding and certainly it is helpful in solving the complex cases.”

Narco analysis involves injecting a drug named sodium pentothal which induces a hypnotic or sedated state in which the person’s imagination is neutralised and he or she is expected to divulge true information. During the test, questions are asked and responses are recorded on camera, officials said.

The Supreme Court in 2010 has held that involuntary administration of narco or lie detection test is an intrusion into a person’s mental privacy and the law disapproves of involuntary testimony.

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