Man linked to Rajasthan horse-trading tapes refuses to give voice sample

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Sanjay Jain, whose name had surfaced in an audio recording about horse trading of legislators to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan, refused to give his voice samples on Friday despite court orders for the same. He alleged that the agency taking samples can’t be trusted.

“After an application was filed by the special operations group (SOG) on July 18, the metro magistrate court number 2 had given permission to conduct the voice spectography test of Jain. Today, when the accused was asked to give his sample, his counsel refused after which the court remarked that an inference may be drawn against Jain during trial,” said Liyakat Khan, public prosecutor.

Khan added that everybody is bound to obey the orders of the court, adding that in future the accused cannot plead that it’s not his voice.

Jain’s counsel, advocate Vivek Bajwa, said his client does not trust the agency which is investigating the case.

“We know the fact that as per the Evidence Act not giving the statement will go against us. We don’t trust the agency investigating the case and we also doubt that if my client had given the voice samples then the FSL report could have been tampered on the orders of the government. How can we trust the politicians,” said Bajwa.

Jain’s counsel had also filed a bail application which would be heard by the local court on August 4.

Legal expert Akhil Choudhary pointed to a 2019 Supreme Court judgment that said the fundamental right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute and must bow down to compelling public interest.

“The SC bench held that giving a voice sample to an investigating agency was neither a violation of the fundamental right nor it amounts to furnishing of evidence against oneself. It reasoned that a voice sample was given for the reason of comparison with other voices in order to see if they matched and were of the same person. A voice sample by itself is not incriminating evidence,” added Choudhary.

He further said that in the case at hand, the trial court could have directed the investigation team to obtain voice samples of the accused despite the accused not inclined to give his samples. “The trial court has rightly mentioned in its order that not giving a voice sample can go against him during the trial stage,” Choudhary said.

Meanwhile, the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Friday also filed an application in the local court seeking approval for questioning of Jain.

Jain was called for questioning on July 17 after the SOG registered a case on the complaint by chief whip Mahesh Joshi.

The Congress filed two cases on the basis of audiotapes. In one, it named Sanjay Jain, Gajendra Singh and Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma as people hatching conspiracy against the government; the second case is against unnamed accused.

The SOG arrested Jain on July 17.

The SOG is investigating three cases of sedition and conspiracy to pull down the Gehlot government.

Also, on the complaint by Congress, a case was also registered at the ACB against Jain, Sharma and Singh under section 7 (public servant accepts or attempts to take bribe) and 7A(public servant obtaining undue advantage) of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Jain, who belongs to Loonkaransar town in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district, is a power broker and is perceived to be close to both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

A former block president of the Indian Youth Congress, the party has accused Jain of being a BJP leader.

The BJP claims Jain is still a Congress member.

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