October 2018

Allied Laws

Dr. K. Shivaram
Senior Advocate
Rahul K. Hakani
Sashank Dundu
Advocates

1.       Evidence - Admissibility of electronic evidence without certification as required under the provision of the Act–Valid. [Evidence Act, 1872; Section 64B]

 

Shafhi Mohammad vs. The State of Himachal Pradesh SLP (CRL.) No. 2302 of 2017 dt. 30/1/2018 (SC)

 

An apprehension was expressed on the question of applicability of conditions u/s.  65B(4) of the Evidence Act to the effect that if a statement was given in evidence, a certificate was required in terms of the said provision from a person occupying a responsible position in relation to operation of the relevant device or the management of relevant activities.

 

It was argued that if the electronic evidence was relevant and produced by a person who was not in custody of the device from which the electronic document was generated, requirement of such certificate could not be mandatory, since if this is not so permitted, it will be denial of justice to the person who is in possession of authentic evidence/witness but on account of manner of proving, such document is kept out of consideration by the court in absence of the certificate.

 

The Court clarified the legal position on the subject of the admissibility of the electronic evidence, especially by a party who is not in possession of device from which the document is produced. It held that such party cannot be required to produce certificate u/s. 65B(4) of the Evidence Act. The applicability of requirement of certificate being procedural can be relaxed by Court wherever interest of justice so justifies.

 

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