How does voice testing work?
Context: CBI wants Jagdish Tytler’s voice samples in the 1984 riots case: How voice testing works, its value as evidence.Congress leader Jagdish Tytler appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit samples of his voice in connection with his alleged role in three murders in Delhi’s Pul Bangash area by a mob during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The CBI said it had fresh evidence in the case, for which Tytler’s voice had to be corroborated with a particular speech he made 39 years ago.
What is a voice sample and how does voice testing work?
The word “voice” refers to the sound produced by human beings through their mouth in speech or song. In general, music professionals use the term “voice sample” to refer to the collection of an artist’s recorded sound for the purpose of composing a song.
In law, “voice sample” means the recording of the voice which is only used for the purpose of criminal investigations and legal or constitutional issues. Here, the voice sample of the accused can only be obtained by the Investigating Agency or Police when the Magistrate directs to do so.
Voice sample refers to the recorded tone of the person. It is mainly based on the accent of the person. Voiceprint identification is a technique through which the voice features of the speaker are recognized. Voiceprint identification is generally used in criminal investigations to solve complicated matters or matters which are pending before the court. It is a technique through which the court can speed up the proceedings of adjudging the guilt or innocence of the accused.
How is a voice sample taken?
An investigating agency generally moves to court, seeking permission to collect a person’s voice sample in connection with a case. Such forensic analysis is used to corroborate other aspects of the case.
Does the Criminal procedure code have any clause related to Voice testing?
Our criminal procedure laws do not contain a specific provision for testing voice samples because it is a relatively new technological tool.
Collection of semen, and hair samples for DNA analysis or taking general body measurements is routine and has specific provisions under law but for collection of voice samples, the police have to move to a court or seek the consent of the accused.
Which section of Criminal procedure allows the examination of the accused by a Medical Practioner?
Section 53 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows the examination of the accused by a medical practitioner at the request of a police officer.
The provision says: “When a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offense of such a nature and alleged to have been committed under such circumstances that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an examination of his person will afford evidence as to the commission of an offense, it shall be lawful for a registered medical practitioner, acting at the request of a police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector, and for any person acting in good faith in his aid and under his direction, to make such an examination of the person arrested as is reasonably necessary in order to ascertain the facts which may afford such evidence, and to use such force as is reasonably for that purpose.”
The word examination in this provision includes “the examination of blood, blood stains, semen, swabs in case of sexual offenses, sputum and sweat, hair samples, and fingernail clippings by the use of modern and scientific techniques including DNA profiling and such other tests which the registered medical practitioner thinks necessary in a particular case.”
Here, the phrase “such other tests” is read to include a collection of voice samples.
While delivering a split verdict in the 2013 case, the SC acknowledged that there is no specific law for the collection of voice samples. The case was subsequently heard by a 3-judge bench in which the SC said that the fundamental rights of the accused will not be violated by collecting a voice sample for investigation.
The Court held that the fundamental right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute and must bow down to compelling public interest.
Voice sample and Voice testing
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