When the quest for the truth is based on a lie

Polygraphy, brain mapping and narcoanalysis are not only inadmissible in court, but also unscientific and unethical. Why is India still using them to solve crimes?

It took three months, a three-member special investigation team, five police suspensions, and national outrage for India’s Central Bureau of Investigation to file a chargesheet against the upper caste men who raped and murdered a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

From the moment they committed their crimes on 14 September 2020, Luvkush, Sandeep, Ramu, and Ravi were treated with kid gloves by local law enforcement. Their victim’s statement was belatedly recorded, and her body—in yet another example of flagrant disregard for consent—was cremated without familial permission. Any additional evidence that could have proved useful had turned to ash …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).