Delhi HC criticises trial court for using polygraph test results to discharge rape accused
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma expressed "dismay" at the judge's decision to recommend the test before the charge sheet was filed, deeming it contrary to Supreme Court guidelines
Setting aside a trial court's order, the Delhi High Court has expressed its disapproval over a judge's suggestion of a polygraph test for a complainant woman and the subsequent discharge of the accused in a rape case based on the test results.
The high court noted that such actions were against the mandate of the law.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma expressed "dismay" at the additional sessions judge's suggestion that the complainant woman undergo a polygraph test while considering anticipatory bail for the accused.
This suggestion was made even before the charge sheet had been filed, and the high court found it to be unwarranted and contrary to legal principles set by the Supreme Court regarding the use of polygraph tests at the bail application stage.
Also Read: The politics of rape and punishment
Justice Sharma was hearing a plea filed by the woman challenging the trial court's decision to discharge the accused.
It set aside the trial court's order to discharge one of the accused for the alleged rape offence and two others for offences of voluntarily causing hurt and common intention under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The high court said that if courts routinely rely on polygraph tests as admissible and reliable during the framing of charges, they would neglect the proper procedure for criminal trials, which involves considering various factors, testimonies, and evidence.
The court stated that criminal trials must adhere to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Indian Evidence Act, and legal precedents, rather than being concluded based solely on polygraph test results.