1. Judicial Order To Collect Voice Sample For Investigation Purposes Doesn't Violate Right To Privacy: Punjab & Haryana High Court
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently held that a judicial order to collect voice samples for Investigation purposes/comparison purposes can't be said to be violative of the right to privacy.
The Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan remarked: "The infringement of Fundamental Right to Privacy cannot be raised to create a bubble to scuttle the investigation nullifying the evidence collected by merely denying that the voice of the tapped phone calls is not of the petitioners and there being no comparables."
The facts in brief:- The Vigilance Bureau, Punjab received information of money being extorted from the local public at Tehsil Banga for getting the sale deeds registered. The information was that the petitioners (both typists at Tehsil Banga Complex) were collecting money for getting the sale deeds registered from the Tehsildar and other revenue officials of the revenue department.
After taking approval, the mobile used by the petitioners was tapped and from the transcripts of various dates finding sufficient evidence, the FIR was registered.
Court's observations: At the outset, the Court referred to the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of “Ritesh Sinha v. State of Uttar Pradesh”, wherein it was held that a judicial magistrate can direct an accused to provide his voice samples for investigation even without his consent.
Further, the Court observed that the voice samples, in a sense, resemble the fingerprints and handwriting and that each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic features dictated by vocal cavities and articulates.
The Court also noted thus: "With the advancement of technology, the modes of communication are changing. To keep pace with the change, new technology is required to be used for collecting and comparing evidence. One method being tapping of communication devices but after compliance of the procedure laid down. It is in that context that taking of voice samples is necessitated. The samples collected are not evidence in itself, rather are tools to identify the voice recording collected as evidence."
Source: Bar & Bench
2. "Right To Question Govt Is The Essence Of Democracy, Sedition Law Should Be Shown The Door As Soon As Possible": Justice Deepak Gupta
"The time has come that section 124A (of the IPC; on sedition) be held as unconstitutional", said Justice Deepak Gupta.
The former Supreme Court judge was speaking at a webinar by CJAR- "Discussion On DEMOCRACY, DISSENT, AND DRACONIAN LAW- Should UAPA & Sedition Have A Place In Our Statute Books?" In the light of CJI N. V. Ramana's oral observations asking the Centre if it Is It Still Necessary To Continue Sedition Law, Which Was Used By the British To Suppress the Freedom Movement, Justice Gupta expressed the hope that when the matter challenging the constitutionality of the provision is finally heard by the Court, it will be struck down.
The right to question the government is the main essence of democracy – I may not agree with you but we can politely agree to disagree with each other. Sedition is the anathema in a democracy where every citizen has the right to question the government. It was introduced by colonial power and the intention was that no native should raise his voice against the British Raj- they had said that anything which brings about hatred or contempt or incites disaffection or enmity against the State would be sedition.
Mahatma Gandhi had said affection cannot be manufactured by law, that if I have no affection for the system or any person, I should have the right to express this, so long as it does not incite violence. But unfortunately, till a few years before the independence, the view taken was that anything that you say is sedition if it is disaffection. The judgment holding that it will be sedition only if there is violence was overturned by the Privy Council", discussed the judge.
Justice Gupta indicated how finally, the Supreme Court constitution bench in 1962 in the Kedar Nath case gave a clear definition of what sedition is, that there must be an incitement to violence and public disorder. "Otherwise, your taking part in the farmers' protest, like Disha Ravi, will not amount to sedition!", he remarked.
The judge mentioned that the law as laid down in Kedar Nath has been recently reiterated by a bench headed by Justice U. U. Lalit in Vinod Dua's case, where the Supreme Court quashed the FIR lodged against the senior journalist for sedition and other offenses by a local BJP leader in Himachal Pradesh over his YouTube show with critical remarks against Prime Minister and Union Government.
Source: Bar & Bench
3. Judge Suspended By Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh HC On Bar Association's Complaint Reinstated On 'Humanitarian Ground'
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court last week revoked the suspension of the order of Civil Judge Imtiyaz Ahmad Lone, who was last year suspended following a complaint filed by Bar Association, Uri.
The suspension has been revoked on 'humanitarian grounds' taking into account the serious health issues that are being faced by Lone. He shall be paid full salary from the date of his reinstatement. He has been posted at Srinagar Wing of the High Court against the Leave Reserve post of Civil Judge (Senior Judge).
An official order was made public last Friday which stated thus: "The Hon'ble Full Court, after taking into account the serious ailment of Shri Imtiyaz Ahmed Lone, the then Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ Sub-Judge, Uri and purely on humanitarian ground, has been pleased to revoke the suspension order of the officer."
His suspension decision was taken at a Full Court resolution passed on December 31, 2020, after a complaint was lodged against him by the Bar Association, Uri.
Recently, the Uttarakhand High Court had reinstated the then Civil Judge (Sr. Div.), Almora, Abhishek Kumar Srivastava, who was placed under suspension for allegedly using private vehicles belonging to an accused Chandra Mohan Sethi, for traveling purposes.
On February 22, the Uttarakhand High Court had suspended him and had attached him with the District Judgeship's headquarter Dehradun. Now, reinstating him, the Uttarakhand High Court has posted him as the 4th Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun.
Source: Bar & Bench
To help you out in your exam preparation, we suggest you take a free trial of CLAT 2022: A Comprehensive Course. Crack CLAT 2022 & Reach Your Dream NLU! So, why wait?