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Police can’t subject Rituparna Sengupta’s maid to lie-detector test:Court

The help Aloka Naskar told HT she was an illiterate woman and the police misled her about the lie-detector process.

kolkata Updated: Jul 20, 2017 13:45 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Rituparna Sengupta,Bengali,Bengal
Rituparna Sengupta’s domestic help alleged she was coerced by police.(HT Photo)

Kolkata Police cannot subject actor Rituparna Sengupta’s domestic help to a lie-detector test over a case of jewellery theft, a city court has ruled, after the help alleged that authorities mislead her.

The police wanted her to undergo the narcoanalysis test, for which the suspect’s consent in mandatory. After giving her approval, the help Aloka Naskar changed her mind and filed a petition saying she wanted to withdraw the consent.

“The magistrate asked Naskar why did she give consent earlier. She told the court she was scared of the police. While challenging her allegation of coercion from the police, the public prosecutor did not object to her prayer withdrawing consent. The appeal was summarily approved,” said Asit Manna, one of the three lawyers who appeared for Naskar.Incidentally, all three lawyers argued free-of-cost.

Naskar, 54, told HT on Monday that she is an illiterate woman and the police misled her about the process.

A person subjected to the test is injected with sodium amytal or sodium pentothal to neutralise the power to imagine that is necessary for hiding truth. As the person becomes semi-conscious, a narco analysis may help the police get crucial clues.

Statements made during the test, however, are not admissible in court. Without consent, no one can be subjected to the test.

“We are happy to have spoiled the police’s effort to coerce a helpless woman undergo narco-analysis in a petty case of theft,” said Ranjit Sur, vice-president of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR).

Deputy commissioner, south, Kolkata Police told HT on Tuesday that they never coerced Naskar for the test. The magistrate, too, explained the significance of the test to her when she went to the earlier to give her consent.

APDR got involved after the word spread about the lie detector test on Naskar.

Sur earlier told HT that the police certainly overstepped its limits by planning to put a suspect in a petty theft case to a narco analysis test. Human rights activists alleged it only showed the over zealousness of police to keep in good humour an influential person.

Sengupta, however, did not mention any suspect when she filed the complaint.

Naskar cannot even sign her name. She had no lawyer representing her when the police first took her to the court to consent to the test.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 13:44 IST