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Court stays tests on ex-ISP official
December 19, 2003 15:37 IST
Last Updated: December 19, 2003 17:04 IST
The Bombay high court on Friday restrained the Special Investigating Team from carrying out scientific tests on Ramachandra Rama Reddy, an accused in the fake stamp paper scam.
Justice Hemant Gokhale and Justice S S Parkar partly restrained the SIT from subjecting Reddy to P-300 brain fingerprinting test, lie detector test and narco-analysis test. Reddy is an official of the Nashik-based India Security Press. He was suspended in connection with the scam.
The judges, however, allowed the SIT to conduct tests on prime accused Abdul Karim Telgi, Abdul Aziz Telgi, Manoj Mehta, Anil Kumar Shah, Dilip Kamath, Anil Gote, Abdul Rashid Kulkarni and Dattatraya Dal.
Prosecutor Raja Thakre informed the court that a SIT team from Pune was already in Bangalore to conduct scientific tests on Telgi. These tests are scheduled for Friday.
Reddy pleaded that special court Judge S M Shembole had erred in permitting the SIT to conduct the scientific tests as it was beyond his jurisdiction.
He pointed out that Article 20 (3) of the Constitution says no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to become a witness against himself.
The special court, he said, had erred in accepting the prosecution's argument that the accused were being subjected to scientific tests only to get clues about the alleged crime and not to use the material as evidence against the accused.
He said the judge had erred in ruling that it was the prerogative of the prosecution machinery to collect evidence. He submitted that such right was not unfettered and the investigating agency had to operate within the law.
The accused said that these scientific tests involved injecting chemicals in the body of the subject. Such injection could prove harmful to the body and cause permanent damage to the nervous system. However serious the crime, no investigating agency could be allowed to play with the lives of the accused.