Narcoanalysis is the policeman’s fantasy; the equivalent of the teenager’s belief that a few drops of Spanish Fly slipped into a soft drink will have girls queuing up to have sex with him. Some years ago, when they shot the stamp paper scamster Abdul Telgi full of truth serum, he started babbling the name of Sharad Pawar, who’s the Union Agriculture Minister now. Obviously only a cop out to commit career suicide would think that that was a truth and so nothing was heard of it from then on. Two years ago, narcoanalysis was done on the parents of Arushi Talwar, and we all know how closer that got them to the truth.
No one takes narcoanalysis seriously except for a policeman with a case he can’t crack. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to conduct narcoanalysis without the consent of the subject. And yet, like someone trying to straighten a dog’s tail, the CBI and police keep making application after application to provide a free narcotic high to people they have charged without doing any regular investigative groundwork.
The latest application is for Jagan Reddy, in the corruption cases related to the time his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. This is not altogether a bad thing. The only way to throw narcoanalysis once and for all into the dustbin is if the elite who rule the country are subjected to it. Laws can change at miraculous speed when lawmakers have a personal stake in it, like say MPs’ salaries or the setting up of SEZs. Jagan Reddy has a fairly good chance of being the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and holding a decisive block of MPs when the next government at the Centre is formed in 2014. Make him a victim and he will be a useful ally in banning this practice. Or imagine if in the 2G case the CBI had made an application to do a narcoanalysis on P Chidambaram and his son. Or on Manmohan Singh to find out whether he was involved in the coal allocation scam as Team Anna is alleging. You can bet that narcoanalysis as an investigative tool would be history before you can finish saying ‘Andimuthu Raja’.