Is proof gathered by sniffer dogs admissible?

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2014 10:17 IST

Can a person be convicted of a crime on the basis of evidence gathered by police sniffer dogs?

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine this vital question of law and admitted a matter in which the Karnataka government is demanding the conviction of a man accused of raping and murdering a minor on the ground he was arrested after the police sniffer dogs tracked him down.

A bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha issued notice to the convict Imran Khan, and said it would dispose the matter after hearing detailed arguments on the matter.

A favorable judgment for Karnataka would lay down a new law on admissibility of evidence provided by sniffer dogs in a criminal trial. It would also be a boost for the police to establish their case before the court.

Karnataka challenged Khan’s acquittal by the state High Court, which overturned a trial court order convicting and sentencing him to death for the charges. HC did not “give much weight” to the dog’s evidence and discarded it as unreliable.

The state government has argued that sniffer dogs are extremely intelligent and clues provided by cannot be casually discarded by the court.

Evidence gathered subsequent to a sniffer dog’s trail should be admissible in a criminal trial, the state government said. In the given case, it argued, other circumstantial evidence was there to support the dog’s evidence.

Imran Khan had allegedly abducted and raped a minor in 2009. He was nabbed after a police sniffer dog, taken to the crime spot, led the team to Khan’s house and started barking. The accused reportedly broke down during interrogation.

Based on his confession and other circumstantial evidence, the Sessions Court awarded him death penalty. However, the Karnataka High Court acquitted him.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Missing Kerala youth in Afghanistan, claim intelligence agencies
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome