Red Fort violence: Court allows Delhi police to obtain Deep Sidhu's voice sample

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) A court here on Thursday allowed Delhi police plea to obtain the voice sample of actor-activist Deep Sidhu, accused in connection with the Red Fort violence on the Republic Day. Metropolitan Magistrate Sahil Gupta allowed the application in which the police claimed that in order to authenticate the voice of the accused in several videos (Facebook live, TV interviews etc.), it was necessary that his voice was matched with the voice in those video clippings.

Sidhu was arrested on February 9 and was granted bail by a Delhi court on April 16 in the case. He was later arrested in another related case and is currently in judicial custody, while his bail application is pending in the matter.

In it's application, the police said that during the investigation, it came to the notice that accused was live on Facebook page and also made various posts on the date of incident. “These video clips/Facebook live have been taken on record which contain the voice of accused,” the police told the court, while seeking his voice sample.

The application was opposed by Sidhu's counsel, saying that the police plea was an infringement of his fundamental rights.

While allowing the police plea, the court termed as 'premature' the arguments made by the counsel for the accused that the application was vague and lacked any concrete detail of the videos for which the voice sample was required, saying that “the manner in which investigation is to be done is the prerogative of the investigating agency.” “Also, at the stage of investigation, one cannot assume that by obtaining the voice sample, false evidence by tampering with the video clips could be imputed against the accused. “The admissibility and quality of evidence is a question to be determined during the trial and not at the stage of investigation,” the court said.

The court added, “In light of above observation, the application of the IO (investigating officer) is hereby allowed. The accused Deep Sidhu was, in FIR No. 98/21, remanded to 14 days in Judicial Custody.” “Production warrant be issued against the accused with direction to Jail Superintendent to produce the accused at FSL, at a convenient time allocated by FSL, under more favourable conditions for the purpose of recording his voice sample in the presence of his counsel,” the court said.

On January 26, thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO from the Ghazipur border clashed with police, the agency claimed in its FIR registered in connection with the Red Fort violence, adding that many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was also hoisted.

In the FIR, police said two magazines with 20 live cartridges were snatched from two constables by protestors who also damaged vehicles and robbed anti-riot gear. PTI UK RKS RKS