Stating that “interrogation of an accused, though possible through video conference, will loose much of its effectiveness when the accused is sitting far away from the investigator/interrogator”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court have dismissed the plea of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi for directing the Chandigarh and Haryana Police for interrogating him via video conference.
Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill, mentioning that interrogation is an effective tool available with an Investigator, said, “It is an indefeasible right of the police to interrogate an accused to unearth the truth especially when direct evidence is not available or the modus operandi of the commission of offence is such that there are certain hidden facts which are required to be brought to surface. No doubt, the courts in the present times have been relying upon video conferencing for the conduct of proceedings of the court but interrogation of an accused, though possible through video conference, will loose much of its effectiveness when the accused is sitting far far away from the investigator/interrogator.”
Justice Gill further said that, “During the course of interrogation, an investigator would put several questions one after another depending upon the answers given by the accused while watching his demeanour. Interrogation also involves reading the psyche of the accused so as to elicit truth which can effectively be possible by observing his immediate response and conduct to the queries put to him. A trained interrogator may even be able to assess the veracity of answers from the manner an accused blinks his eyes or sighs or moves his feet. Further, at times during interrogation, in case any disclosure is made by the accused which has to lead to some kind of recovery of some articles or some other evidence, the accused may be required to be taken to place of occurrence. The investigator certainly cannot be deprived of an important means to elicit information pertaining to commission of an offence, in the absence of which the police may never be able to tie loose ends together.”
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