The Supreme Court has ruled that a judicial magistrate can order an accused to give his voice samples even against his consent in the course of a criminal investigation.
The judgment came on an appeal filed by petitioner against a 2010 order of a magistrate court in Uttar Pradesh allowing police to get his voice sample.
Article 20(3) of the Constitution mandated that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
However,the court said that giving voice sample by itself did not incriminate a person.Hence,judicial order to give such a sample does not infringe the fundamental rights to privacy or against self-incrimination.
The 87th Report of the Law Commission of India in 1980 describes a voice print as a visual recording of voice.Voiceprints resemble fingerprints as each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic features dictated by vocal cavities and articulates.