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POLICE ATROCITY CANNOT BE TOLERATED 2011 SC

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Supreme Court of India in Prithipal Singh v. State of Punjab Decided on 4.11.11 By Bench Consisting Justice P. SATHASIVAM and Justice Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN has held that “Police atrocities are always violative of the constitutional mandate, particularly, Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) and Article 22 (person arrested must be informed the grounds of detention and produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours). Such provisions ensure that arbitrary arrest and detention are not made. Tolerance of police atrocities, as in the instant case, would amount to acceptance of systematic subversion and erosion of the rule of law. Therefore, illegal regime has to be glossed over with impunity, considering such cases of grave magnitude.”

RELEVANCY OF VOICE IDENTIFICATION AND VOICE RECORDS IN CRIMINAL CASES 2011 SC

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Justice B.Sudershan Reddy & Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar in a case of NILESH DINKAR PARADKAR .Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA reported in 2011 (4 ) SCC 143 In our opinion, the evidence of voice identification is at best suspect, if not, wholly unreliable. Accurate voice identification is much more difficult than visual identification. It is prone to such extensive and sophisticated tampering, doctoring and editing that the reality can be completely replaced by fiction. Therefore, the Courts have to be extremely cautious in basing a conviction purely on the evidence of voice identification. This Court, in a number of judgments emphasised the importance of the precautions, which are necessary to be taken in placing any reliance on the evidence of voice identification. ………………. In our opinion, the veracity of the voice identification would not improve merely because a recording has been made after receiving official approval. The crucial identification was of the voice of the person talking on the tape. 
REFERRED CASE LAWS In the case of Ziyauddin Burhanuddin Bukhari Vs. Brijmohan Ramdass Mehra & Ors. (1976) 2 SCC 17 , this Court made following observations:- “We think that the High Court was quite right in holding that the tape-records of speeches were “documents”, as defined by Section 3 of the Evidence Act, which stood on no different footing than photographs, and that they were admissible in evidence on satisfying the following conditions: “(a) The voice of the person alleged to be speaking must be duly identified by the maker of the record or by others who know it. (b) Accuracy of what was actually recorded had to be proved by the maker of the record and satisfactory evidence, direct or circumstantial, had to be there so as to rule out possibilities of tampering with the record. (c) The subject-matter recorded had to be shown to be relevant according to rules of relevancy found in the Evidence Act.” In the case of Ram Singh & Ors. Vs. C ol. Ram Singh 1985 (Supp) SCC 611, again this Court stated some of the conditions necessary for admissibility of tape recorded statements, as follows:- “(1) The voice of the speaker must be duly identified by the maker of the record or by others who recognise his voice. In other words, it manifestly follows as a logical corollary that the first condition for the admissibility of such a statement is to identify the voice of the speaker. Where the voice has been denied by the maker it will require very strict proof to determine whether or not it was really the voice of the speaker. (2) The accuracy of the tape-recorded statement has to be proved by the maker of the record by satisfactory evidence direct or circumstantial. (3) Every possibility of tampering with or erasure of a part of a tape-recorded statement must be ruled out otherwise it may render the said statement out of context and, therefore, inadmissible. (4) The statement must be relevant according to the rules of Evidence Act. (5) The recorded cassette must be carefully sealed and kept in safe or official custody. (6) The voice of the speaker should be clearly audible and not lost or distorted by other sounds or disturbances.” This apart, in the case of Mahabir Prasad Verma Vs. Dr. Surinder Kaur (1982) 2 SCC 258, this Court has laid down that tape recorded evidence can only be used as corroboration evidence in paragraph 22, it is observed as follows:- “Tape-recorded conversation can only be relied upon as corroborative evidence of conversation deposed by any of the parties to the conversation and in the absence of evidence of any such conversation, the tape-recorded conversation is indeed no proper evidence and cannot be relied upon. In the instant case, there was no evidence of any such conversation between the tenant and the husband of the landlady; and in the absence of any such conversation, the tape-recorded conversation could be no proper evidence.”

RELEVANCY OF SNIFFER DOG CLUES IS ONLY FOR POLICE INVESTIGATION NO USE TO ISOLATEDLY RELY FOR CONVICTION 2008 SC

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JUSTICE S Sinha, JUSTICE D Bhandari in the case of Dinesh Borthakur vs State Of Assam reported in AIR 2008 SC 2205, held that “The law in this behalf, therefore, is settled that while the services of a sniffer dog may be taken for the purpose of investigation, its faculties cannot be taken as evidence for the purpose of establishing the guilt of an accused.”

QUOTED FOLLOWING CASE LAWS:- So far as the evidence relating to the reaction of sniffer dog is concerned, this Court in Abdul Rajak Murtaja Dafedar v. State of Maharashtra [(1969 (2) SCC 234 stated the law, thus : "There are three objections which are usually advanced against reception of the evidence of dog tracking. First since it is manifest that the dog cannot go into the box and give his evidence on oath and consequently submit himself to cross- examination, the dog's human companion must go into the box and the report the dog's evidence and this is clearly herarsay. Secondly, there is a feeling that in criminal cases the life and liberty of a human being should not be dependent on canine inference” In Gade Lakshmi Mangaraju alias Ramesh v. State of A.P [2001 (6) SCC 205], this Court opined "There are inherent frailties in the evidence based on sniffer or tracker dog. The possibility of an error on the part of the dog or its master is the first among them. The possibility of a misrepresentation or a wrong inference from the behaviour of the dog could not be ruled out. Last, but not the least, is the fact that from scientific point of view, there is little knowledge and much uncertainty as to the precise faculties which enable police dogs to track and identify criminals Investigation exercises can afford to make attempts or forays with the help of canine faculties but judicial exercise can ill afford them."

OTHER CASES ON THE SUBJECT

In the case of Surinder Pal Jain v. Delhi Administration AIR 1993 SC 1723 : 1993 Cri LJ 1871, the Apex Court had held that picking up of the smell by the dogs of police and pointing towards the accused could not be said to be circumstances which could exclude the possibility of guilt of any person other than that of the accused or be compatible only with hypothesis of guilt of the accused. The pointing out by the dogs could as well lead to a misguided suspicion that the accused had committed the crime.

QUOTED IN Sridhara @ Sripathi And Anr. vs State Of Karnataka reported in 2005 CriLJ 3014, ILR 2005 KAR 2576 by Justice S Bannurmath, Justice A Kabbin “Abdul Razak Murtaza Dafadar v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1970 SC 283 has observed thus: The tracker dog's evidence cannot be likened to the type of evidence accepted from scientific experts describing chemical reactions, blood tests and the actions of bacilli, because the behaviour of chemicals, blood corpuscles and bacilli contains no element of conscious volition or deliberate choice. Dogs are intelligent animals with many thought processes similar to the thought processes of human beings and wherever there are thought processes there is always the risk or error, deception and even self-deception."

“Similarly in the case of Gade Lakshmi Mangaraju v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 2001 SC 2677. The Apex Court observed thus: The uncanning smelling power of canine species has been profitably tapped by investing agencies to track the culprits. Trained dogs can pick up scent from the scene of any object and trace out the routes through which the culprits would have gone to reach their hideouts. Developing countries have utilized such sniffer dogs in a large measure. In India also the utilization of such tracker dogs is on the increase. Though such dogs may be useful to the investigating officers, can their movements be of any help to the Court in evaluating the evidence in criminal cases? The weakness of the evidence based on tracker dogs are: possibility of error on the part of the dog or its master is the first among them. The possibility of misunderstanding between the dog and its master is close on its heels. The possibility of a misrepresentation or a wrong inference from the behaviour of the dog could not be ruled out. The last, but not the least, is the fact that from a scientific point of view, there is little knowledge and much uncertainty as to the precise faculties which enable Police dogs to track and identify criminals."

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS

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