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SC stays order allowing police to take voice sample

PTI | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court has stayed an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court permitting the police to take the voice sample of its official, accused in a corruption case for allegedly demanding bribe.

A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul issued notice to Haryana asking it to file within three weeks its reply on a plea by the police official challenging the June 2 verdict of the high court which had dismissed his petition against a trial court order.

“In the meantime, operation of the impugned order dated June 2, 2017 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana… shall remain stayed,” the apex court said.

An assistant sub-inspector of the Haryana Police, Dharambir Singh, had moved the apex court against the high court order which had held that there was no basis for interfering with the trial court order.

The trial court had allowed the prosecution's plea for directing Singh to give his voice sample in a case registered in Hisar under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the police, one Surender Kumar had filed an application at the police station regarding certain dispute, which was marked to Singh who was posted there at that time.

It was alleged that Singh had demanded illegal gratification of Rs 15,000 from the complainant.

The prosecution had moved an application before the trial court seeking voice sample of Singh on the ground that Kumar had produced a CD which contained the alleged conversation between him and the accused with regard to demand of bribe.

Assailing the trial court's order, Singh's counsel had contended before the high court that no consent was taken from Singh and he cannot be forced to furnish his voice sample. The lawyer had also alleged that the CD was manipulated.

The high court had dismissed Singh's plea, saying “the question as regards manipulation in CD would be established and determined only if the voice sample of petitioner is taken and thereafter such voice sample along with CD is sent to FSL (forensic science laboratory) for an expert opinion”.