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No narco test on Aftab on November 21, says Forensic Science Lab

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The narco analysis test on Aftab Poonawalla who has been accused of killing his live-in partner will not be conducted on Monday, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) said.

A polygraphic test is to be conducted on Aftab before the narco test for which his consent is needed, and the police have been informed about that, it said.

“We are not conducting the narco test on Aftab today,” said FSL Assistant Director Sanjeev Gupta.

Punit Puri, also an assistant director at the FSL, said the polygraphic test will be conducted if consent is received. “It will be followed by medical tests and after these only, the narco will be performed.”

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“Within 10 days, narco will be done,” he added.

Assistant Director Sanjeev Gupta further said they have received a request for the narco test “and we have started our work as well. Our director Deepa Varma has instructed to take this case on priority.”

“There was a meeting on Sunday between the FSL and the police team and everything has been decided but some parameters need to be completed before the narco test and they have been informed to the police. As soon as they complete them we can do narco,” he said.

Explaining the narco test, Rajneesh Gupta, the FSL crime scene in-charge, said it is a lengthy process with various disciplines such as medical practitioners involved as this is done in the operation theater.

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“Experts from FSL, photo division, and narco specialists are there so all teams work together and their consent is also needed to work in coordination. Our officers are already having meetings with all departments to take their consent and when we get it we will have a date with us which we will inform you,” he told PTI.

A senior FSL official said earlier in the day an elaborate discussion was held on Sunday with the Delhi Police team probing the Shraddha Walkar murder case.

As Aftab Poonawalla’s five-day police custody ends on Tuesday, the Delhi Police is running against time to get the test conducted.

The narco-analysis test will be conducted at Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital here in Rohini.

In an order dated November 17, a Delhi court had directed the city police to complete the narco-analysis test within five days, while making it clear that it cannot use any third-degree measure on him.

Narco analysis, also known as truth serum, involves intravenous administration of a drug (such as sodium pentothal, scopolamine, and sodium amytal) that causes the person undergoing it to enter into various stages of anesthesia.

In the hypnotic stage, the person becomes less inhibited and is more likely to divulge information, which would usually not be revealed in the conscious state.

Investigating agencies use this test after other pieces of evidence do not provide a clear picture of the case.

The Delhi Police had earlier said it sought Aftab Poonawalla’s narco analysis test as his responses during interrogation were “deceptive” in nature.

The Supreme Court has ruled that narco-analysis, brain mapping, and polygraph tests cannot be conducted on any person without his or her consent.

Also, statements made during this test are not admissible as primary evidence in court, except under certain circumstances when the bench thinks that the facts and nature of the case permit it.

Twenty-eight-year-old Poonawalla allegedly strangled his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and sawed her body into 35 pieces which he kept in a 300-liter fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the city over several days past midnight.

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