The Delhi High Court has observed that framing of charges cannot defeat the right of the prosecution to obtain an expert opinion on voice samples that it had been permitted to take by Court.
Justice Asha Menon added that the purpose of taking a voice sample is to investigate a crime, but it would be incorrect to interpret the same as meaning that the voice sample would have to be taken only within the time the chargesheet is filed and not thereafter.
The Court made the observations while dealing with a plea filed by an accused in a case relating to the leaking of the question paper set for Haryana Civil Services (Judicial) (Preliminary) Examination 2017. The trial was later transferred to Delhi.
The petitioner had approached the Trial Court seeking directions to the police not to compel him to give his voice sample.
Vide order dated 2nd July, 2022, the Trial Court declined to issue any such directions observing that assuming that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh petition before the High Court of Delhi, he failed to do so till that date; thereby directing the petitioner to give his voice sample also fixing the date for the purpose as 11th July, 2022 at CFSL, Chandigarh.
The petition was thus filed by the petitioner seeking the quashing of the orders dated 26th September, 2018, passed by the a Trial Court in Chandigarh and the consequential orders dated 2nd July, 2022 passed by the Special Judge here. The order dated 26th September, 2018 permitted the SIT to obtain the voice sample of the petitioner.
It was argued on behalf of the petitioner that compelling him to give his voice sample to the SIT violated the his Fundamental Rights under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.
It was further submitted that the Trial Court at Chandigarh had perversely rejected his application which claimed that he was under severe stress and mental depression and therefore his consent not a free consent.
While dismissing the plea, the Court noted that the Trial Court had assured itself on the voluntary nature of the statement suffered by the petitioner in respect of the giving of his voice sample.
"The application to wriggle out of that consent was rightly dismissed. In the light of this order dated 8th January, 2019, clearly, there is no ground made out for quashing the order dated 26th September, 2018, as being improper or perverse," it said.
The Court was of the view that the directions for providing voice sample were issued during the pendency of the investigations, but the petitioner successfully avoided to comply with that order.
"Today, the position is that pursuant to the directions of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, charges have been framed, but that cannot defeat the right of the prosecution to obtain an expert opinion on voice samples that it had been permitted to take, also from the petitioner," the Court observed.
"The purpose of taking a voice sample is to investigate a crime, but it would be incorrect to interpret this as meaning that the voice sample would have to be taken only within the time the charge-sheet is filed and not thereafter, as a clever accused, like the present petitioner, would be able to defeat the right of the investigating agencies to obtain a voice sample, even though the court had authorized the same. The orders of the court cannot be rendered nugatory in this fashion."
The Court thus dismissed the plea ordering that the Special Judge may fix a date when the petitioner shall appear before the CFSL, Chandigarh, for giving his voice sample.
Case Title: SUNIL KUMAR ALIAS TITU v. STATE OF UT OF CHANDIGARH
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 760