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Self Incrimination Under Article 20(3) Of The Constitution Of India

Tripti Bhaskar, University of Lucknow & Anil Kumar Gautam, Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University Lucknow


The Indian Constitution provides immunity to an accused against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) – ‘No person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself’. It is based on the legal maxim “nemo teneteur prodre accussare seipsum”, which means “No man is obliged to be a witness against himself.”

It was first incorporated in Criminal Procedure and later ingrained in Part III of the Constitution of India under Article 20(3). A person against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted must be conceded the right to remain silent about the accusation. The privilege has been conferred upon the accused by the application of the doctrine of presumption of the innocence which is considered as a cardinal principle in the administration of criminal; justice.

A defendant must be informed of their rights before making any statements that may incriminate them. Defendants must not be compelled to give any statements. In the case that a defendant is pressured into giving a statement that is self-incriminating, the statement will not be admissible in a court of law. The Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Constitution give defendants the Right to Silence, i.e. the right to withhold self-incriminating information to authorities.

The application of Narco-analysis test involves the fundamental question pertaining to judicial matters and also to Human Rights. The legal position of applying this technique as an investigative aid raises genuine issues like encroachment of an individual’s rights, liberties and freedom. It is observed that the tests involve “minimal bodily harm” which is also not correct because laxity in administration of drug can be fatal.

The application of Narco-analysis test involves the fundamental question pertaining to judicial matters and also to Human Rights.

Polygraph testing combines interrogation with physiological measurements obtained through the polygraph, or polygraph instrument, a piece of equipment that records physiological phenomena-typically, respiration, heart rate, blood pressure and electro-dermal response.

In India, the results of polygraph examination are not accepted as a sole evidence in court. The main reason is that the scientific community feels that the test is far from infallibility.


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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