Espionage case: Court rejects ATS plea seeking polygraph for DRDO scientist Kurulkar

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Pradeep Kurulkar, Director of the Research & Development Establishment (Engineers), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) | Photo: ANI

Pune: A special court here has rejected the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad's plea seeking a polygraph, voice layer and psychological analysis tests for DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar, an accused in an espionage case.

Special judge VR Kachre on Saturday rejected the ATS' application requesting the court to seek Kurulkar's consent for a polygraph test, voice layer and psychological analysis test.

Kurulkar, the then-director of a laboratory affiliated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Pune, was arrested on May 3 under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking confidential information to a Pakistani intelligence operative.

Defence counsel Rhishikesh Ganu said the accused cannot be forced to undergo the said tests and argued that the entire case was based on telephonic communication and electronic gadgets, which are with the ATS.

The judge in his order said, "...I am of the view that the accused without his consent cannot be forced to undergo either polygraph test or voice layer and psychological analysis test".

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, the court said it is crystal clear and well-settled law that no individual should be forcibly subjected to any of the techniques in question, whether in the context of investigation in criminal cases or otherwise.

Doing so would amount to an unwarranted intrusion into personal liberty, it said.

"Considering the overall discussion and relying on the landmark judgement of Smt Selvi and Ors. VS State of Karnataka, I am of the view that both the applications are liable to be rejected," the order stated.

Earlier, the ATS in its chargesheet in the case alleged that Kurulkar was attracted to a Pakistani intelligence operative and chatted with her about Indian missile systems among other classified defence projects. PTI

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