July 25, 2017
The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday directed Telangana excise
authorities probing the drug racket not to compel actress Charmme Kaur to give
her blood, nail and hair samples for analysis.
The court order came on Charmme's petition a day before she is to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) for questioning.
However, the court dismissed Charmme's plea to direct SIT to question her in the presence of her lawyer.
The actress' lawyer Vishnuvardhan Reddy told reporters that the court also directed officials to quiz her between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It observed that if necessary the officials may call her again for questioning.
SIT was also directed to include a woman officer in the team of officers which will question her.
Reddy said Charmme would inform the SIT the place where she would like to be questioned. She had earlier informed SIT that she will appear at its office.
Summoned for questioning, the actress had moved the court, seeking direction to SIT not to collect her blood, hair and nail samples through coercion. Her lawyer argued that collecting samples without consent is illegal.
Charmme, also known as Charmi in film circles, said that she comes from a respectable family and apprehends that her samples may be taken without her consent.
"If the same happens, I, being an unmarried lady, will have to face serious consequences in the eyes of society spoiling my career and future," she had said in the petition.
Akun Sabharwal, Director, Enforcement, Prohibition & Excise Department, who is heading the probe, had said on Monday that they were not forcing anybody to give the samples. He also told the media that the four-member team of officials questioning the people summoned in the case includes a lady officer.
Charmme is one of the 12 personalities from the Telugu film industry summoned by SIT for questioning in the drug racket which was busted here earlier this month.
The SIT has so far grilled six celebrities, including actors Tarun, Navdeep and director Puri Jagannadh.
They were summoned after the SIT found their contact details in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, the kingpin of the racket.