Subjecting victim’s family to narco test goes against all principles of natural justice: Petition in Allahabad High Court

Activist Saket Gokhale has moved the Allahabad High Court in a letter petition against the proposed narco analysis test to be conducted on the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was raped and murdered by upper-caste Hindu men in Hathras.

“The proposed narco analysis test, is a means to coerce the family and intimidate them against deposing before the Court,” reads the petition.

According to Bar and Bench, This petition comes shortly after the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court took suo motu cognizance of the horrific Hathras incident, particularly the action of the UP government to cremate the Dalit woman’s remains in the dead of the night without the consent or presence of her family. The date of hearing in the case is fixed for October 12 when the family of the victim is expected to be present before the Court to depose.

While the High Court’s order was passed on October 1, the Executive’s plan to conduct the narco analysis test was declared on October 2 in a press release, Bar and Bench reported.

Gokhale prays for an immediate stay on the narco analysis test planned by the UP authorities at least till the family’s statements are made before the Court as scheduled for October 12.

“Subjecting the family of the victim to a narco-analysis test goes against all principles of natural justice as they’re neither accused in the case nor have been charged with any offence. Using an interrogation technique on the victim’s family is a blatant form of coercion”, it reads. 

Earlier Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi tweeted: “The UP government is morally corrupt. The victim didn’t get treatment, didn’t write her complaint, her body was burnt forcibly and the family is in captivity and is being pressurised. Now, they are being threatened that a narco test will be done on them.”