A special court in Pune has rejected the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad’s (ATS) plea seeking a polygraph, voice layer and psychological analysis tests of DRDO scientist Pradeep Kurulkar, arrested for allegedly succumbing to a honeytrap and providing confidential information to a Pakistani agent.
Special judge V.R. Kachre on Saturday (September 16) rejected the ATS’ application asking for a polygraph test.
The scientist’s defence counsel told the court that the accused could not be forced to undergo tests, arguing that the entire case was based on telephonic communication and electronic gadgets which were already with the ATS.
No test without consent
The judge in his order said he was of the view that the accused “cannot be forced to undergo either polygraph test or voice layer and psychological analysis tests” without his consent.
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.
Mr. 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. He was arrested by the ATS following a complaint filed by a senior officer of the Vigilance and Security Department of the DRDO.
The scientist was allegedly in touch with a Pakistan Intelligence Operative through WhatsApp and video calls.
Chatted with Pakistani
As per the 1,837 page charge-sheet filed by the ATS in July this year, the Pakistani agent had tried to obtain classified and sensitive information regarding the Brahmos Launcher, Drone, UCV, Agni Missile Launcher and Military Bridging System, among other things.
Mr. Kurulkar reportedly chatted with her about various projects, including surface-to-air missiles (SAM), drones, Brahmos and Agni Missile Launchers.
The two were in contact from June 2022 to December 2022, according to the ATS.