Libertatem Magazine

Rajasthan High Court Rules That Accused Can Be Asked To Provide Voice Sample For Future References

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Rajasthan High Court’s recent ruling gave a major boost to law enforcement agencies. The Court allowed police to collect voice samples of an accused person for determining his or her involvement in the crime.

Facts Of The Case

Events of this case take place in Jodhpur where some armed youth in the wee hours of morning indiscriminately fired gunshots at the residents of two persons namely Dr. Sunil Chandak and Mr. Manish Jain. A CCTV footage of the incident revealed that some youth on a motorcycle stopped in front of houses of Dr. Chandak and Mr. Jain and started indiscriminate firing. Thereafter both the victims were threatened on their mobile phones, whereby the person calling them reminded of the firing on their house in the morning and asked them for protection money for the safety of their family members and themselves.

On investigation, it was revealed that calls came from Italy through Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Accused was arrested from Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi when he was trying to flee the country and he has confessed making those threatening calls on directions of one Lawrence Bishnoi who is in jail. Police presented an application before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate No.2 Jodhpur seeking permission of the court to direct the accused to give voice sample for matching his voice with recording provided by Dr. Chandak. Accused refused to give his consent for the same. Learned Magistrate dismissed the application filed by police saying that in absence of any express provision of law which empowers police to take voice sample, it is not permissible for police to ask accused to give his voice spectrography test. Police filed a revision petition in Additional Session’s Judge against this decision of Magistrate. The decision of Magistrate was upheld by Additional Session’s Judge and revision petition under section 482 was filed in the High Court.

Decision Of The Case

Learned Single Judge Justice Vijay Bishnoi after listening to both the sides came to the conclusion that the revision petition is maintainable under section 482 of the Cr.P.C and High Court can decide the matter even if the issue is pending before the larger bench in Supreme Court. Furthermore, keeping in mind the facts of the case the Court also opined that “The members of the gang made calls through Whatsapp or VOIP or other techniques from within country or from foreign country knowing well that it is very difficult to prove that they have called the victim because they cannot be compelled to give their voice sample. Misuse of technology can only be countered by good use of technology. Moreover, the court also opined that “it is not justified to restrain police or investigating agency to counter crime with aid of scientific methods or modern technology on the ground that there is no provision of this effect under any law.” Last but not the least, the court also issued directions guiding police as to how they should take and use the voice sample.

Learning of the case

From this case, we learn several things. First, a revision petition is maintainable before the high court under section 482 even after rejection by session’s judge and secondly police can now take help of scientific methods and latest technology in investigating the matter.

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