Chhota Shakeel’s relative challenges voice sample taken by anti-terror agency NIA

by The Technical Blogs


Mohammad Salim Mohammad Iqbal Qureshi, alias Salim Fruit, the brother-in-law of alleged D Gang member Chhota Shakeel, has approached the Bombay High Court seeking the declaration of his voice sample, collected by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), as unconstitutional. The plea argues that it violates Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Fruit, represented by his lawyer Viquar Rajguru, challenged an order passed by a special court that had rejected his plea regarding the voice sample.

The lawyer had submitted that the voice sample was taken illegally while Fruit was in NIA custody. He also argued that the procedure adopted by the anti-terror agency was conducted without the permission of a Magistrate and, therefore, it should be excluded from the list of evidence.

However, the special court stated that the matter involved a “mixed question of law and facts.”

“This question should be decided at the time of the conclusion of the trial and not at this preliminary stage. Hence, the said issue is left open to be raised at the time of the final adjudication of the trial after recording evidence from the prosecution and the defense. However, at this stage, the voice samples of the accused, obtained for the purpose of investigating the crime, cannot be excluded from the evidence, as sought by Fruit,” the judge said.

Fruit’s voice sample was collected by the Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratory (DFSL) on the instructions of the National Investigation Agency last year after his arrest in August 2022.

According to the NIA, Fruit was handling the extortion business of D Company, which suffered after the demise of fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, Haseena Parker. The allegation is that Fruit was receiving and sending large sums of money that were funding terror activities against the country.

NIA and the police had opposed Fruit’s petition. Their reply stated that there were “no good grounds for excluding the voice sample of the accused, as it is wholly unjustified and may not be warranted, as it is against the interest of further investigation and the justice of this case.”

Fruit’s plea will be heard on October 1 by the bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal.

Published On:

Sep 14, 2023


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