Shashi Tharoor can refuse polygraph test
New Delhi, July 1: The Delhi police yesterday moved an application in a local court seeking a polygraph test on former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor in the case relating to the death of his wife, Sundanda Pushkar.
Tharoor who is currently in Europe is expected to return to India next week and only if he gives his consent can the test be conducted on him.
A polygraph test in common terms is referred to as a lie detector test.
The test basically ascertains whether a person is telling the truth of lying by studying the heart beat, pulse and also eye movements. It is one of the oldest investigation tools used by the police to ascertain the truth.
Tharoor has a right to refuse polygraph test:
While the Delhi police have moved an application in court seeking permission to conduct a polygraph test on Tharoor, the final decision on whether to take it or not lies with him entirely.
He has the right to refuse the test and even courts normally do not direct the conducting of such a test if the person in question does not gives his consent.
The test would basically comprise several questions relating to the case. Tharoor has already been questioned thrice by the police.
The police will not ask him the same questions again during the test if he consents to it. If the police feel that he has dodged some questions or was not consistent in his answer will they pose the question during the test.
Test results are not evidence:
The Supreme Court of India while dealing with the a plethora of cases pertaining to Narco Analysis and Polygraph tests had made it clear that since it involves the life and liberty of a person, his or her consent ought to be sought. The court made it clear that in case a person has consented to a scientific test, then the same shall not be used as evidence.
When the police file the chargesheet, they cannot include the details of a polygraph or narco analysis report in it. The results of the test can only be used to either corroborate the evidence the police already have. However in most cases it is used an investigating tool to get more leads into the case during investigation.
The police normally tend to use scientific tests to ascertain whether a person is telling the truth or not. They also use the procedure when they feel that a person is not being consistent with his answers during the normal round of questioning.
Why are scientific tests not admissible in court?
The Supreme Court after going into details of various cases has held that scientific tests may be permitted provided there is consent, but also held that the results shall not be of any evidentiary value. These tests do not always give the correct result.
Moreover there are many who are capable of beating the test. It was found in many cases where polygraphy and narco tests were conducted that the accused person had trained his mind to beat the tests. It was found that a person can control what he is speaking and will tell the truth only if he wants to tell the truth.
Tharoor not a suspect:
The Delhi police have made it clear that Shashi Tharoor is not a suspect in the case. He has assured us of all cooperation and we need to ascertain more details from him and hence we have sought permission for the test.
The police say that they have conducted the same test on six others associated with the case. We just want some assistance in our investigation, the officer informed.