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Source and authenticity are the two hallmarks pertaining to electronic records sought to be used as evidence : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Shri Khakchang Jamatia vs State Of Tripura (CRL.A (J) NO.10 OF 2020) upheld that source and authenticity are the two hallmarks pertaining to electronic records sought to be used as evidence.

Facts of the case : An ejahar was lodged by one Birkumar Jamatia, father of the deceased with the officer-in-charge Killa P.S. stating that on 02.12.2015 at about 4.00 p.m his daughter, Binata Jamatia left for Maharani Jamtala Bazar from her house but she did not return. So, the informant with his relatives made a search for her but on 05.12.2015, at about 8.00 to 8.30 a.m, one Siddi Kumar Jamatia of his village informed that the dead body of his daughter was found on the northern side of the new road. So, the informant went there and found the dead body of his daughter lying near a tree. He also alleged that there was blood in various places on the road. He also found the mobile, urna, money bag of his daughter, and one knife. He suspected that someone had killed his daughter.

On completion of the investigation, a charge sheet was submitted against the accused-Khakchang Jamatia having found prima facie evidence for the commission of offense under Section 302/201 of IPC. 

The appellant herein argued that the call data record between the accused and the deceased as relied upon by the prosecution is not certified. In this regard, learned Sr. counsel as relied upon Section 65 of the Indian Evidence Act.

Judgment :  Under Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act, there must be a certificate which identifies the electronic record containing the statement. The person needs only to state in the certificate that the same is to the best of his knowledge and belief. Most importantly, such a certificate must accompany the electronic record like computer printout, Compact Disc (CD), Video Compact Disc (VCD), pen drive, etc., pertaining to which a statement is sought to be given in evidence, when the same is produced in evidence. All these safeguards are taken to ensure the source and authenticity, which are the two hallmarks pertaining to electronic records sought to be used as evidence. 

The call data record between the accused and the deceased prove that on 02.12.2015, at around 4.00 P.M., the victim girl received a phone call from the accused.

The call data record between the accused and the deceased, the fact that witnesses had seen the deceased and the accused in the company of each other just before the incident in the evening, the strength of the examination of the accused under Section 313 of Cr.P.C., circumstantial evidence all put together completes the chain and link is not missing. Accused was convicted.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

Click here to view the judgment

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