Psychoanalytical Evaluation of Witnesses and Scientific Evidence: The Future

The criminal justice system as well as the routine process of law in civil cases where we are faced with the exigencies of the Evidence Act, of cross-examination and recording statements and evaluation of material available on record, we have been faced with the failure and miscarriage of justice at the hands of the judges more frequently than any other error. The evaluation of all the witnesses and cross examination is not most of the times a complete process that reveals the truth and there are times when manipulations and distortions creep in, and then the discrepancies and others are dealt with as per the wisdom of the bench, and the overtures of the counsels. Further the investigation by the police officers is often not very accurate and there creeps in a lot of inaccuracies which could have been seen in the ‘angles’ with which the investigative agencies pursue a case in criminal matters. The angles were seen in the inconclusive Arushi Talwar’s case and these days it is the Sushant Singh’s case which is finding it hard to pursue either the course of a suicide or a murder! Thanks to the statements and political pressure, along with the media trial, the investigation has hit road-blocks and the veracity of the statements being recorded can only be left to be verified by God himself.

With the advancement of psychological abilities of man, which of course call for enhancement in the marriageable age, and lowering the age of juveniles, also require a deeper analysis of the witnesses, the accused and the prosecution with the scientific tools available with the realm of forensic experts today.

It is not a hidden aspect that the modern day forensic science in developed economies has taken magnificent strides which command the potential to reduce the time deployed in deciding a case by almost 50% if deployed judiciously.

In these unprecedented times the judiciary of this nation is faced with the need to modernise the judicial processes and adapt to more technologically attuned processes, which should be deployed in various stages of investigative and examination processes as well.

The human rights violations as are alleged in cases of use of forensic or scientific evidence in the process of justice may not obstruct the fundamental rights of the individual under scrutiny, since the maintenance of law and order is the exclusive preserve of the State, and no citizen can claim protection unless the recording of scientific evidence turns against the individual unless it is in tune with the procedure established by law.

The utility of scientific evidence in the processes of justice have been noted by the 185th report of the law commission has beautifully dealt with the practical aspects of the right to interrogate and right to self incriminate as stipulated in the DK Basu judgement of the Supreme Court.

But another aspect of the flaws in interrogation procedures has been dealt with by the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh & Ors. vs. Union of India where a separation of investigation work from that of law order has been stipulated, blending this with forensic processes and sciences during the investigation shall build a stronger criminal justice system in the country.

The psychoanalytical analysis of the witnesses, accused and prosecution or the parties to a civil suit often will offer a process that is beyond the realm of natural tendency of the witnesses and the persons to give false statements or even withdraw from being a witness or a hostile witness. The psychoanalysis can be best effected by lie detector polygraph tests and advanced brain mapping techniques, and will reduce the rigourous processes involved in recording statement and will aid the judges to reach better conclusions.

The Supreme Court in Dharam Deo Yadav vs State of UP has initiated a view going against the strict views expressed in Selvi’s case, and has accommodated a stance that it shall be wise for the judiciary to use more scientific evidence which will go a long way from the conservationist stance of the judges earlier where the evolution of the justice delivery processes stood obstructed by a citizens right to obstruct justice asserting their rights as a citizen.

The deployment of forensic and psychoanalytical tools and other scientific methods is yet to become a normal trend in the Indian justice system and as the nation progresses and the delivery of justice becomes a complex task, more deployment of technology and aforesaid processes shall be in place to offer quality justice in a welfare state.