Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: BEOSP

Mains level: Use of technolgy in crime investigations

A brain electrical oscillation signature profiling (BEOSP) test will be conducted on the convicts of the alleged rape and murder in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

Note: According to Article 20(3) of the Indian constitution, no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. The privilege against self-incrimination is a fundamental canon of common criminal law jurisprudence.

What is the BEOSP test?

  • BEOSP also known as brain fingerprinting is a neuro-psychological method of interrogation in which the accuser’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying their brain’s response.
  • The BEOSP test is carried out via a process known as an electroencephalogram, conducted to study the electrical behaviour of the human brain.
  • Under this test, the consent of the accused is first taken and they are then made to wear caps with dozens of electrodes attached to them.
  • The accused are then shown visuals or played audio clips related to the crime to check if there is any triggering of neurons in their brains which then generate brainwaves.
  • The test results are then studied to determine the participation of the accused in a crime.

What differentiates a BEOSP test from a polygraph or a lie detector?

  • The BEOSP procedure does not involve a question-answer session with the accused and is rather a neuro psychological study of their brain.
  • In a polygraph test, the accused person’s physiological indicators are taken into account which includes blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration and skin conductivity.
  • While a person might be able to control their pulse rate and BP even in times of distress, a BEOSP test

Can these tests be admitted as evidence?

  • Not as a standalone, a/c to the 2010 Supreme Court judgment in the Selvi v. State of Karnataka case.
  • The bench observed that narco analysis, polygraph and brain mapping tests cannot be forced upon any individual without their consent and the test results cannot be admitted solely as evidence.
  • However, any information or material discovered during the tests can be made part of the evidence, observed the bench.

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