SC: A judicial magistrate can order a person to give a sample of his voice

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 2ndAugust 2019, in the matter of Ritesh Sinha v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr. pronounced that until explicit provisions are engrafted in the Code of Criminal Procedure by Parliament, a Judicial Magistrate must be conceded the power to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

When a yawning gap in the Statute, in the considered view of the Court, calls for temporary patchwork of filling up to make the Statute effective and workable and to sub-serve societal interests a process of judicial interpretation would become inevitable.(Para 20)

The exercise of jurisdiction by Constitutional Courts must be guided by contemporaneous realities/existing realities on the ground. (Para 21)

Judicial power should not be allowed to be entrapped within inflexible parameters or guided by rigid principles. (Para 21)

True, the judicial function is not to legislate but in a situation where the call of justice and that too of a large number who are not parties to the lis before the Court, demands expression of an opinion on a silent aspect of the Statute, such void must be filled up not only on the principle of ejusdem generis but on the principle of imminent necessity with a call to the Legislature to act promptly in the matter. (Para 21)

The fundamental right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute and but must bow down to compelling public interest. (Para 24)

Until explicit provisions are engrafted in the Code of Criminal Procedure by Parliament, a Judicial Magistrate must be conceded the power to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime. Such power has to be conferred on a Magistrate by a process of judicial interpretation and in exercise of jurisdiction vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. (Para 25)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_02-Aug-2019
 

-Tushar Kaushik

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