All the accused in Kathua rape case plead ‘not guilty’, seek a narco test

The trial in the Kathua rape case involving the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl began today, with all the accused seeking a narco test. As per reports, all the eight accused in this matter have pleaded not-guilty.

During the trial, the district and sessions court judge sought the copies of the charge sheet from the crime branch and fixed 28 April as the date of the next hearing. Out of the eight accused, one is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the judicial magistrate.

To facilitate the trial, the Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special prosecutors who belong to the Sikh community, for supposedly bringing in neutrality the case having communal undertones.

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Under a narco test, the subject’s imagination is neutralised by being made semi-conscious, via the injection of Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal. Usually a subject needs to use his/her imagination to lie, hence in this semi-conscious state one’s imagination is neutralised.

As a result of this, it becomes difficult for the subject to lie and the responses are restricted to already known facts. Under this state, the subject is only rendered capable of answering simple questions.

The dose of chemicals injected depends on factors like age, sex health and physical condition. The dosage needs to be carefully injected as a wrong amount may lead to coma or death.

The legal admission of the narco test though is considered sketchy, with the Supreme Court banning its forcible usage citing individual rights violation. Also, the test isn’t easy to come by for those wanting to willingly subject themselves to it. As reported in September 2017, the Supreme Court had dismissed an accused’s petition seeking it after finding no merit in the application.

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