The courts don’t trust it. Investigators love it. And now with politicians and couch potatoes on two sides of a debate over a television show that uses it, the focus is back on the polygraph test. Sach ka Saamna on Star Plus channel, which politicians want off air, is getting more and more popular with every passing day.
But the show that makes its contestants answer uncomfortable questions, and exposes their lies on the basis of a polygraph, once again raises the question of exactly how accurate this test is.
Dr A K Singh, senior scientific officer at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in New Delhi, has been conducting polygraph — or lie-detector — tests for six years. According to him, it is “more than 95 per cent accurate”.
“Fear of detection and entrapment produces inner conscious conflicts and involuntary (autonomic) physiological responses, which can be precisely recorded by a polygraph and interpreted by a polygraphist,” he said.
He didn’t agree that the courts don’t completely trust the test.
“At present, even if it is only a scientific aid for investigation, as it is considered only corroborative evidence in most cases, the judiciary still refers a large number of cases for polygraph test to our lab, wherever the courts feel the complainant, suspect or witness is lying or changing their version.”