A Supreme Court ruling that termed narco and polygraph tests on accused persons "illegal and a violation of fundamental rights" if conducted without their consent could turn out to be a boon for B Ramalinga Raju, prime accused in the Rs 7,800-crore Satyam Computers scam.
The disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers had been keeping the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case, from subjecting him to polygraph and brain-mapping tests. The CBI, however, claimed that as Raju was not sharing enough information on the Satyam account book fudging scam, polygraph tests were necessary to obtain more evidence in the case.
Niranjan Reddy, the counsel for the CBI, said that he would comment on the issue only after studying the apex court judgement. "After that, we will see if there is any scope for arguments,” Reddy said.
In a landmark ruling delivered on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had stated that forcefully conducting narco-analysis, brain-mapping or polygraph tests on accused persons was a violation of their individual rights. However, the tests can be conducted with their consent, the ruling added.
Recently, a two-member bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had delivered a split verdict on a petition filed by Ramalinga Raju, challenging a local court's order that he and two other accused be subjected to a polygraph (lie detection) test.
While Justice Gopal Reddy ruled in favour of the accused, Justice Govindarajulu's verdict stated that the CBI had the authority to subject them to the test. Following the split verdict, it was decided that the case be presented before a third judge.