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Consent Of Accused Not Required To Obtain Voice Sample; No Violation of Fundamental Rights: Kerala HC

Written By – Aishwarya

Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi (Mahesh Lal N.Y v. State of Kerala) dismissed a petition alleging that the accused was not given an opportunity of being heard before being directed to produce his voice sample, and held that the accused has no right of option in the matter.

“Since the direction given by a court to an accused to give a voice sample for the purpose of comparison does not violate Article 20(3) of the Constitution, his consent is not required. “

The petitioner was the second accused in a case registered by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. The de facto complainant’s brother-in-law had constructed a new building and was awaiting the grant of completion certificate from the Panchayat.

The first accused, a contractor, demanded money from the de facto complainant to pay the petitioner herein and other officials of the Panchayat to persuade them to grant the certificate. In Feb2021, the first accused met the de facto complainant and accepted an amount of Rs.25,000 from him. Thus he committed an offence punishable under Section 7A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 r/w Section 120B of the IPC. The second accused committed the offense punishable under Section 7(a) of the Act read with Section 120B of the IPC.

Advocates challenged the notice on two grounds:
(1) The order compelling the petitioner to give voice sample violates the protection guaranteed under Article 20(3) of the Constitution
(2) The order directing the petitioner to give a voice sample was passed by the Special Court without granting him an opportunity of being heard.
It was stated that a voice analysis of both the accused and the de facto complainant was essential to prove the demand made. Finding that the challenge to the notice had failed, the petition was accordingly dismissed.

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