Drugs case: Actress Charmme moves Hyderabad High Court against tests

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The judge told the counsel to file the petition in the usual course and that the court would take up the case on Tuesday.

Hyderabad High Court

Hyderabad: Actress Charmme Kaur on Monday moved the Hyderabad High Court seeking a direction to excise enforcement officials not to compel her, both physically and psychologically, to give testimony or to collect blood, hair and nail samples by coercion while questioning her in the drugs case.

The Special Investigation Team of the excise enforcement department has served notice to the actress under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substan-ces Act, 1985, asking her to appear for questioning in connection with the ongoing probe.

High Court to take up charmme’s case today
Following the notice, she moved the HC stating that she had read in newspapers that blood, nail and hair samples of several cinema personalities were collected by a team of doctors as per directions of the enforcement and excise director against the consent of individuals. “This was nothing but compelled testimony and self-incrimination,” she said.

She contended that Articles 20(3) and 22(1) of the Constitution mandated the presence of a lawyer at the time of examination of the accused by the police to pr-event an accused from giving involuntary self-incriminating answers.

She urged the court to direct the SIT to follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court and permit her lawyers to be present at the time of her questioning and wo-men officers at the time of her examination.

In the case of Nandini Satpathy, a former Odisha CM, a Supreme Court bench had ruled in 1978 that an accused is entitled to remain silent if the answer sought by investigating authorities could exp-ose the person to guilt in some other accusation, even though the current investigation was not with reference to that issue.

Earlier, Charmme’s counsel M. Vishnuv-ardhan Reddy made a mention before Justice Raja Elango seeking permission to move a lunch motion in view of the urgency in the case as the petitioner was asked by the SIT to appear before it on July 26.

The judge told the counsel to file the petition in the usual course and that the court would take up the case on Tuesday.

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