Necessity of Use of Modern Techniques In Investigation and The Parametres Laid In Law- A Brief Note

Srinivasa Murthy, Advocate

Date : 19/04/2019 - Location : D No. 3-5-907/2 Flat No. 302, Mahavir Lok Apartments, Himayat Nagar, Hyderabad-500029 Phone No. 9848017215

Necessity of Use of Modern Techniques In Investigation ....-A Brief Note

➢ Criminal system in India is adversarial and not inquisitorial as in Civil Law Countries.

➢ Modern Techniques in Investigation would lead better results in investigating offences as detailed below:

a) Murder,

b) Narcotics,

c) Accidents,

d) Destruction of Public Property including offences relating to Rioting

e) Crimes against Women with specific reference to offences such as Rape, Burns etc.,

➢ The following aspects of Investigation to name a few can be better equipped with modern investigating methods by use of new scientific techniques using technological advancements:

a) Post Mortem Examinations,

b) Recording of Section 161 Cr P C Statements,

c) Recording of Confessions,

d) Conduct of Polygraph tests,

e) Recording of Testimonies of Experts.

➢ Society's experience of involvement of modern scientific techniques in crimes makes the State to gear up itself to understand and bring the culprits of such offences to book within the parameters of the Ideology of Criminal Jurisprudence of this Country.

➢ The Investigative agencies in the Country are making a Herculean task to conduct free and fair investigation to satisfy the Criminal Justice system and to have the crime conviction ratio to be bettered for the well being of the Society, which is the primary concern of the Sovereign Democratic State.

➢ The Criminal administration in the Country from the investigation point of view urges that administering new and modern techniques does not cause any bodily harm to the alleged offender and that the extracted information can safely be used only for strengthening investigation to have the same admitted in evidence during the trial stage.

➢ Yet another line of reasoning of the Criminal Jurisprudence experts is that these modern scientific techniques are a softer alternative to the regrettable and allegedly widespread use of third degree methods by investigators.

➢ The 239th Report of the Law Commission submitted to the Honourable Supreme Court of India as to the "Expeditious Investigation and Trial of Criminal Cases Against Influential Public Personalities" in W. P. (C) NO. 341/2004,Virender Kumar Ohri v. Union of India & Others in March, 2012 deals with various requirements of use of modern techniques in Investigation. To name a few are extracted hereunder:

b) Police Stations: Modernization:

(i) Networking of all police stations to establish a link with all the courts:

(ii) Digital videography to be installed at police stations. At the time of receiving FIR/complaint, videography should be made compulsory. By this process, the earliest version of the informant will be evident. So also, at the time of inspection of the scene of offence and recovery of material objects, videography should be insisted upon.

(iii) Interrogation Rooms: Each Police Station should be provided with secure interrogation rooms, with simultaneous audio-visual recording facilities by two cameras, one focusing on the close-up of the face of the witness or the suspect and the second giving a wide angled picture to show that there is no coercion to influence the statement of the witness or the suspect. Statement of all suspects and witnesses should, by law, be required to be recorded in such windowless interrogation rooms with mirrors on the two walls. The question of treating as admissible the statements of the accused and witnesses examined in secure interrogation rooms deserve serious consideration.

c) Mobile Forensic Vans: At least, all District Headquarters should be provided with mobile forensic vans which should accompany the homicide teams to the place of occurrence. The mobile forensic vans should be equipped with equipment for instant blood test and finger print comparison, on the spot, in addition to the facilities of lifting the finger prints and blood samples from the scene of crime. The vans should also have provision for video-recording of the scene of crime as well as that of searches and seizures on the spot. In the Districts where NDPS crimes are more, narcotics testing kits should be provided to every Police Station.

➢ The Honourable Supreme court of India in Smt. Selvi & Ors v. State of Karnataka in Crl A No. 1267 of 2004 in its Judgment dated 05.05.2010 laid down guidelines with regard to conduct of Narco analysis techniques on accused. The same may be relevant for consideration while appreciating the nuances of use of Modern Scientific methods in Investigation.

'These guidelines should be strictly adhered to and similar safeguards should be adopted for conducting the Narco analysis technique and the Brain Electrical Activation Profile test.

The text of these guidelines has been reproduced below:

(i) No Lie Detector Tests should be administered except on the basis of consent of the accused. An option should be given to the accused whether he wishes to avail such test.

(ii) If the accused volunteers for a Lie Detector Test, he should be given access to a lawyer and the physical, emotional and legal implication of such a test should be explained to him by the police and his lawyer.

(iii) The consent should be recorded before a Judicial Magistrate.

(iv) During the hearing before the Magistrate, the person alleged to have agreed should be duly represented by a lawyer.

(v) At the hearing, the person in question should also be told in clear terms that the statement that is made shall not be a confessional statement to the Magistrate but will have the status of a statement made to the police.

(vi) The Magistrate shall consider all factors relating to the detention including the length of detention and the nature of the interrogation.

(vii) The actual recording of the Lie Detector Test shall be done by an independent agency (such as a hospital) and conducted in the presence of a lawyer.

(viii) A full medical and factual narration of the manner of the information received must be taken on record."

➢ With the aforesaid guidelines being kept in proper perspective during investigation if modern techniques are also adopted, the Crime Conviction Ratio can be better achieved.

© Chawla Publications (P) Ltd.