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Challenging Police Use of Pseudo Scientific Technologies in India: Selected Resources

narco analysis, ’brain mapping’ other voodoo techniques are dangerous for human rights

by Amar Jesani, Girish Shahane, P A Sebastian, PUDR, Sriram Lakshman, 26 February 2009

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1.

Narco-analysis, Brain Mapping and other frauds

by Girish Shahane (Shoot First, Mumble Later)

- (26 February 2009)

News has just come in that S Malini, the Assistant Director of Bangalore’s Forensic Science Laboratory, has been sacked after it was found that her credentials were forged. I’m not surprised at all. I’ve written more than once about how the narco analysis and ’brain mapping’ pioneered by that facility were voodoo techniques. What’s shocking is how long the media swallowed the idea that these tests were scientific, and how much credibility they were given by the judicial community. This, despite a study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences showing that ’brain mapping’ is untrustworthy; and a recent paper published by Nawaz Irani, a researcher at the forensic lab at Kalina in Bombay, which demonstrated that narco analysis is equally useless.

Some day journalists will write about how thousands of suspects were injected with drugs that caused debilitating side effects, and failed to produce any credible information for investigators. Perhaps there will even be demands for compensation filed. For the moment, I hope judges across the nation agree to an immediate moratorium on narco analysis and brain mapping till forensic scientists of proven credentials attest to their efficacy.
Here are the two columns I wrote in Time Out about the issue. The first was published in 2006, the second in 2008. Some irrelevant text has been cut out and replaced by ellipses.

2.

Narco Analysis, Torture and Democratic Rights

A publication by PUDR —with a lecture by Dr Amar Jesani

22nd Ramanadham Memorial Lecture organised by PUDR, 2008

Narco Analysis, Torture and Democratic Rights
pudr.org
2008

3.

Narco-Analysis and the Indian Criminal Justice System

- by P A Sebastian (in: Economic and Political Weekly, September 06 - September 12, 2008)

4.

Narcoanalysis and some hard facts

by Sriram Lakshman (in: Frontline, May 18, 2007)

Narcoanalysis is being mainstreamed into investigations and court hearings in India. This raises grave scientific and ethical questions.
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