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Delhi HC stays narco-test on Maoist leader Ghandy

Source: PTI
November 05, 2009 12:16 IST
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the city police from conducting a narco-analysis test on top Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy.

Justice Indermeet Kaur stayed the trial court's order, which had on October 31 allowed the police to conduct the test on the 63-year-old Maoist leader. The court passed the order after Ghandy's counsel Rebecca M John submitted that until and unless the Constitutional validity of the narco-test is decided by the Supreme Court, an accused cannot be forced to undergo such a test.

She submitted that the Supreme Court has been consistently denying such a test on the accused, in view of the pending case before it, in which a Constitution bench has reserved its order. The high court also issued a notice to the city police and directed it to file a status report by December 14.

Ghandy had approached the high court, contending that he cannot be forced to give evidence against himself as it violates his right under Article 20(3) of the Constitution and he had not given any consent for the test.

The trial court had on October 31 allowed the police to conduct a narco-test on Ghandy, who was arrested from the national capital on September 20, after the probe agency contended that it had not been able to elicit the requisite information from him despite the use of scientific methods of interrogation.

The trial court had passed the order after going through the medical report submitted by AIIMS which said that Ghandy was medically fit to undergo the test.

Challenging the order, Ghandy said the validity of such an invasive test is still not clear as the matter is pending before the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, which has reserved its order on the issue.

Ghandy, who has been booked under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, submitted that the magistrate should have waited for the Supreme Court judgment.

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