THE DIGITALIZED OPIUM OF LEGAL SYSTEM

By - C. Naveen Kumar, from the school of Excellence in law, Chennai.


The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was enacted keeping in mind only about the physical world, but later on, it was suitably amended to include the concept of electronic evidence. Because of huge development in e-administration all through the Public and Private Sector, Electronic Evidence has included a principal mainstay of correspondence, handling, and documentation. These different types of electronic proof are progressively being utilized as a part of both Civil and Criminal Litigations. Amid trials, Judges are frequently solicited to control the tolerability from electronic confirmation and it significantly impacts the result of common claim or conviction/vindication of the blamed. The Court keeps on grappling with these new electronic boondocks as the remarkable idea of e-confirm, and in addition, the straightforwardness with which it can be manufactured or distorted makes an obstacle to acceptability not looked with alternate conformations. The different classifications of electronic confirmation, for example, site information, interpersonal organization correspondence, email, SMS/MMS, and PC created reports postures one of a kind issue and difficulties for legitimate verification and subject to an alternate arrangement of perspectives. Electronic evidence may be defined as any information created or stored in digital form that is relevant to a case.

Digital Forensics is defined as the process of preservation, identification, extraction, and documentation of computer evidence which can be used by the court of law. It is a science of finding evidence from digital media like a computer, mobile phone, server, or network. It provides the forensic team with the best techniques and tools to solve complicated digital-related cases.

Digital forensics investigations have a variety of applications. The most common is to support or refute a hypothesis before criminal or civil courts. Criminal cases involve the alleged breaking of laws that are defined by legislation and that are enforced by the police and prosecuted by the state, such as murder, theft, and assault against the person. Civil cases on the other hand deal with protecting the rights and property of individuals (often associated with family disputes) but may also be concerned with contractual disputes between commercial entities were a form of digital forensics referred to as electronic discovery (e-discovery) may be involved.

PROVISIONS FOR ADMISSIBILITY OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

Electronic evidence can be primary and secondary evidence, in the court of law. If the substantive evidence proves it, then it is considered to be primary evidence.

1. Section 2 (1) (t) of the IT act 2000 - As per Sec 2(1)(t) of IT Act, 2000, it means: - Data record or data generated - Image or sound stored - Received or sent in electronic form or microfilm or computer-generated microfiche

2. Section 3 – Evidence includes All documents including electronic evidence for the inspection of the court. Electronic evidence includes computers, CDs, Floppy disk, Phone, Email, Television.

3. Section 65A – Special provisions as to evidence relating to the electronic records.

4. Section 65B – Admissibility of electronic records.

· The Information must be collected from the ordinary course of business by the person having a lawful possession over the computer.

· Information has been fed in the computer in the regular course of business.

· The computer has to be working during the evidence has been taken by the computer

· The information should be derived from the proper usage of the computer.

APPLICABILITY OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS

VIDEOGRAPHY

The important factor of the electronic evidence is explained, the contents of electronic records may be proved in accordance with the provisions of Section 65-B. The primary purpose is to sanctify proof by secondary evidence. The core question is about the videography of the crime scene is necessary to inspire confidence. The subject on the admissibility of the electronic evidence, especially by a party who is not in possession of the device from which the document is produced. Such a party cannot be required to produce a certificate under section 65B (4) in the Indian Evidence Act 1872.[1]

EMAIL

The Calcutta High Court contended that email downloaded and printed can be proved Section 65 B read with section 88 of the Evidence Act. It is considered as sufficient evidence to prove the suit. The authenticity of the printed email evidence cannot be proven because it is easily changing the email or the timestamp etc.[2]

TELEVISION

The Electronic evidence in a Television is considered valid in the eyes of law. The legislative assembly speaker of Haryana has been subjected to defection. The evidence provided by the prosecution is the Television channels byte of Zee News Television Channel and Aaj Tak Television Channel. The Hon'ble took the television byte as relevant evidence to prove the defection of the assembly speaker[3]

COMPACT DISC

The admissibility of Compact Disc is inadmissible evidence in the court of law in the case of corruption. Corruption in the country is an unavoidable offense in the country. It takes more evidence to prove the offense of corruption than with audio and video CDs.[4]

CALL RECORDS

The call records are considered to be valid with the corroborative evidence. The proof and admissibility if the call records are printed. The Supreme Court concluded that cross-examination of the competent witness acquainted with the functioning of the computer during the relevant time and the manner in which the printouts of the call records were taken was sufficient to prove the call records.[5] A certificate is needed to prove the call records otherwise it is considered to be inadmissible evidence.

GENERAL PERCEPTION OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE

Any electronic evidence should be proved with the certificate without it is considered to be inadmissible evidence pointed out by Public prosecutor Vijaya raj. Section 65B is a procedural provision which enhances the law to provide the court with the electronic evidence can be admissible without any original proof of it stated by Senior advocate Jayanth Bhushan.

Tape recorded conversation, in this case, was held to be primary evidence and not secondary evidence that required a certificate under 65B[6].

The Husband sought to produce video clippings recorded through a pinhole camera establishing the wife’s extra-marital relationship. Thus, compliance of Section 65-B of the Evidence Act is not necessary [7]

If the rapist is unknown to the victim, then the DNA samples have been compared electronically to the victim to prove the guilt of the rapist.[8]

CONCLUSION

The times where there is no world without water has been changed into there is no functioning of the world without the electronic mode. In the cezonic era, the world of computers and technology plays an indispensable role in each and everyone’s life. There are no borders or boundaries in the digital world. Even the Court of law considers electronic evidence relevant. There is been certain insertion and amendment for the raising digital world. The Indian evidence Act 1872 presents with more of Electronic evidence provisions with it.

“In this modern era, a fact is moralized only if its digitalized”

[1] Shafhi Mohammad vs The State of Himachal Pradesh on 30 January 2018 [2] Abdul Rahman Kunji v. State of West Bengal (WB/0828/2014] [3] Jagjit Singh v. the State of Haryana (2006) 11 SCC 1) [4] Sanjaysinh Ramrao Chavan v. Dattatray Gulabrao Phalke SC/0040/2015 [5] State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot Sandhu (AIR 2005 SC 3820) [6] Vikram v. the State of Punjab (2017) 8 SCC 518 [7] Preeti jaon vs Kunal Jain AIR 2016 raj 153 [8] https://www.policeone.com/police-products/investigation/evidence-management/articles/investigating-rape-crimes-part-2-evidence-collection-and-analysis-m9xK3iJEXeUSS4NT/

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