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Selvi v/s State Of Karnataka

In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether several techniques for acquiring evidence were constitutional, including polygraph tests, BEAP (Brain Electrical Activation Profile), sometimes known as "brain mapping," and narcoanalysis.

The Court found that the employment of such neuroscientific investigative techniques constituted testimonial compulsion and violated both an accused person's right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution and their right not to be subjected to self-incrimination under Article 20. (3).

The Court determined that when interpreting the ban on self-harm, the multiple features of personal liberty under Article 21 such as the right to a fair trial and substantive due process would have to be taken into account when interpreting the infringement of the Constitution's Article 20(3).

The Court then looked at the significance of mental privacy, the right to speak or remain silent, and how they relate to personal autonomy as aspects of the right to privacy after tracing the history of the right to privacy in India. It was also decided that this would apply to everyone who might be charged with a crime and face prosecution, including suspects and witnesses. The Court stated that it is important to take into account the relationship between Article 20(3), the privilege against self-incrimination, and Article 21's right to privacy.

The court also decided that getting testimonial statements under pressure is against the law and cannot be a legal use of police power, and that using drugs to get confessions and monitoring physiological responses would violate the subject's right to privacy. As a result, the Court decided that these tests cannot be administered without the accused's legitimate consent.

Facts of the case
The Supreme Court in this case granted a special leave petition after hearing complaints concerning instances in which suspects, witnesses, and accused individuals were subjected to neuroscientific testing without their knowledge or consent. The Court considered whether it was constitutional to get evidence using neuroscientific tests such as polygraph, BEAP, or "brain mapping."

The polygraph test keeps track of bodily responses like respiration, blood pressure, pulse, and galvanic skin resistance in order to find lying or deception. The Court considered whether it was constitutional to use neuroscientific tests to gather evidence, such as polygraph, BEAP, or "brain mapping."

The polygraph test keeps track of physiological responses like breathing, blood pressure, pulse, and galvanic skin resistance in order to find lying or deception. Sodium pentothal is intravenously injected during the narcoanalysis test. This medicine causes a hypnotic trance that reduces inhibitions in the subject In order to determine if a subject is familiar with a certain piece of information, the BEAP analyses brain activity in reaction to particular stimuli.

Issues of the Case:
  1. If the "right against self-incrimination" guaranteed in Article 20(3) of the Constitution was breached by the involuntary administration of the disputed techniques;
  2. Whether the disputed methods imposed a justifiable limit on "personal liberty" as in light of Article 21 of the Constitution, must be understood.

Arguments from Petitioner side
The petitioners contend that the application of neuroscientific procedures by those under duress violated their Article 20 right to "prevent self-incrimination" (3). The petitioners asserted that: "Article 21's provision of "personal liberty" was expanded by the inclusion of "substantive due procedure".

The petitioners also claimed that a prohibition is covered under Article 21's purview that there is a restriction against harsh, inhumane, or humiliating treatment and that forcing someone to utilise the disputed procedures would go against this rule. Last but not least, they argued that the proposed strategies would violate the test subjects' right to both physical and mental privacy.

The petitioners contended that the examinations themselves lacked scientific validity and were instead limited to confirmatory, and therefore there was no reason to believe the evidence gained through them. They relied on empirical studies that cast doubt on the reliability of the justification provided by these techniques.

Argument from Respondent side
The Respondents argued that these tests had to be used in order to gather information that would help the investigative authorities gather evidence and deter crime. Additionally, they stated that giving the tests did not result in any physical injury and that the data was only used for research.

for academic purposes only; not for use in court as evidence. The Respondents argued that these tests had to be used in order to gather information that would help the investigative authorities gather evidence and deter crime. Additionally, they stated that giving the tests did not result in any physical injury and that the data was only used for research.

For academic purposes only; not for use in court as evidence.

The Court began by carefully reviewing how the contested law developed and its specific applications , methods and how the criminal justice system and international law use them precedents relating to their use, as well as their restrictions. In considering the right against self-incrimination, the Court came to the conclusion that to be forced to participate in neuro-scientific tests would violate Article 20's ban on testimonial coercion. regarding self-incrimination (3).

The Court determined that before such neuroscientific tests could be conducted freely, the requirement of "substantive due process" would also need to be satisfied in addition to the requirements of Article 20(3).

The court ruled that unintentionally made comments had a higher likelihood of being untrue.The person's integrity and dignity were violated, thus the right against self incrimination was meant to ensure that testimony considered during trial was reliable.

According to the Court, "most states as well as international human rights agreements have recognised the link between the 'right against self-incrimination' and the 'right to fair trial'." Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India ((1978) 1 SCC 248) held that the right against self-incrimination should be interpreted with due consideration for the interrelationship between rights, in particular the various dimensions of the right to personal privacy.such as substantive due process and the right to a fair trial.

The Court also upheld the decision made by M.P. In the case of Sharma v. Satish Chandra (1954 SCR 1077),concluded that Article 20's guarantee against testimonial coercion applied to everyone who was the subject of an accusation that could lead to prosecution (3).

It was made clear that the privilege against self-incrimination applies to everyone, including those who have been formally charged, those who are questioned as suspects in criminal cases, and witnesses who are concerned that their answers might lead to criminal charges in a current investigation or even in cases unrelated to the one being investigated. The Court took additional notice of the MP. Sharma argued that being a witness applied to all

voluntary activities, not just those involving oral testimony. The Court also took into account the standard established in State of Bombay vs. Kathi Kalu Oghad & Others ([1962] 3 SCR 10), which suggested that "imparting knowledge in respect of relevant fact by means of oral statements or statements in writing, by a person who has personal knowledge of the facts to be communicated to a court or to a person holding an enquiry or investigation," would affect the right under Article 20. (3). The court ultimately decided that the outcomes of the involuntary use of neuroscientific methods would constitute testimonial reactions for the purpose of invoking the right under 20(3) of Indian Constitution.

The Court determined that while laws of evidence could be used in cases involving privacy issues in specific matters. They couldn't serve as the basis for ordering a person to give up their privacy because of physical invasion. "To impart personal information of a major fact" through a person The Court thought about how rights interrelate in order to perceive the abolition of self-incrimination as a component of "personal liberty" according per Article 21.

It was therefore underlined that Article 20(3) and the right to privacy would also come into play. Disagreement, especially in relation to a person's autonomy to speak or remain silent. The Court ruled that it would be against one's right to privacy to use such techniques against their will.

The Court noted in tracing the development of the right to privacy that the Indian Constitution does not expressly include a "right to privacy" in a manner comparable to the Fourth Amendment of the United States. Starting with the MP Sharma case. Search for evidence of theft and embezzlement .Papers were given warrants, which established their validity.

State of Uttar Pradesh v. Kharak Singh
(AIR 1963 SC 1295), a case in which the Court discussed the legitimacy of police laws enabling the authorities to track down "history-sheeters" on a list and conduct surveillance on them, etc. Arguments were put forward.

Other significant cases that contributed to the development of the right to privacy were also taken into consideration by the court, including People's Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India and Govind v. State of Madhya Pradesh (1975) 2 SCC 148, R. Govind v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Raj Gopal v. State of Tamil Nadu (1994) 6 SCC 632 148 in Pradesh (1975) 2 SCC. (AIR 1997 SC 568).

The Court took up the Sharda v. Dharampal case (2003) 4 SCC 493) as it considered privacy rights. In this instance, a civil court was allowed to compel an examination by a doctor who was considered necessary for figuring out which party is mentally unstable. The Sharda v. Dharampal case established that a person's right to privacy could be limited in the face of conflicting interests in addition to examining the aforementioned precedents.

The court did not examine Article 20(3) of the Constitution because Sharda v. Dharampal was a civil matter; instead, it concentrated on the distinction between testimonial acts and tangible evidence. This is based on current circumstances. The Court concluded that although the fundamental goal of the concept of privacy was to shield one's body and geographic locations from invasive state acts, the right to privacy should also take into account how Article 20 may be impacted (3).

It was decided that subjecting an individual to the disputed practises was an infringement on their right to privacy. Additionally, it was determined that utilising such tests against even if a person were not accused of a crime, their will would still be in violation of their Article 21 right to liberty humiliating and brutal treatment.

The Court ruled that no tests could be carried out without the accused's consent, which had to be obtained in front of a judicial magistrate and in the presence of the accused's attorney. The statement would not have the status of a confessional statement but rather would have the status of a statement made to the police. The exam would be administered by an impartial organisation, in the presence of a lawyer, and properly documented.

This case sheds new light on mental privacy while addressing an important issue of coerced testimony. The decision made in the case alters the methods of investigation and extends the scope of protection from self-incrimination to include not only persons suspected and accused but also those who are not present in court as witnesses.

It is now required, as a result of this case, to obtain the subject's agreement before administering any further scientific tests and to inform them of the test's methodology and potential outcomes. becoming a famous instance in the development of article 20[3].

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Amar Nagsen
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: SP226022398959-17-0922

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