Court grants permission to conduct narco test on two witnesses

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Ahmedabad, Nov 19 (UNI) A Magisterial Court here today granted permission to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to conduct a narco analysis test on two employees of the Asaram Bapu Ashram-run Gurukul in connection with the mysterious deaths of its two students -- Dipesh and Abhishek Waghela, in July.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D M Patel allowed CID (Crime) to conduct narco analysis on Yogesh Bhati and Pankaj Saxena, who were witnesses in this case.

The court, however, stayed the operation of the order till December two, giving the duo time to appeal before the High Court.

In its order, the court relied on the judgment of the High Court in the Santokben Jadeja case, where it was held that the consent of the accused was not a pre-requisite for conducting a narco test.

This order has been stayed by the Supreme Court. However, it has not set it aside, the magistrate observed.

The court observed that the two Ashram members were being questioned as witnesses and therefore, it is their duty to speak out the truth. It said if the investigating agency felt that the witnesses were not forthcoming with the truth, then it had the right to demand the use of scientific tools like narco analysis.

However, both Bhati and Saxena declined to give their consent for the narco test saying that it is 'self-incriminatory' and 'inhumane'. Besides, a clutch of cases questioning its legality were pending before the Supreme Court, they contended.

The CID had moved the application on August 22 after it failed to make any headway in the case. The mutilated bodies of Abhishek and Deepak were found in the first week of July from the Sabarmati riverbed.

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