Madurai Bench of the High Court of Madras on Thursday observed that primary evidence of electronic record under Section 62 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 would be admissible in evidence, without compliance with the conditions in Section 65(b) of the Act.
“Admissibility of the secondary evidence of electronic record depends upon the satisfaction of the conditions as enumerated under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act. On the other hand, if primary evidence of electronic record adduced that is the original record itself is produced in Court under Section 62, the same is admissible in evidence without compliance with the conditions in Section 65(b),” Justice A.M. Basheer Ahamed observed.
The Court was hearing a Revision Petition against an order of the Judicial Magistrate No. II, Srivilliputhur passed in July, 2014. The Petition had been filed by four persons accused under Sections 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code, read with Section 4 (Penalty for demanding dowry) of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
During the proceedings, the Judicial Magistrate had allowed the admission of a compact disc as evidence on behalf of the complainant, under Section 311 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The accused had challenged this order, contending that the compact disc did not have the mandatory certificate as required under Section 65 (b) of the Indian Evidence Act.
The Court accepted such contentions, and observed that the Petition under Section 311 neither contained information regarding the contents of the compact disc, nor the signature of the Assistant Public Prosecutor and the Inspector of Police. It therefore ruled that such Petition was not maintainable, and observed, “Mere production of the C.D / electronic evidence without any details contain in it and also the mandatory certificate required under Section 65-B (4) (b) of the Indian Evidence Act, cannot be received or admitted in evidence.”
The Court thereafter set aside the impugned order, and directed the Trial Court to dispose of the case within three weeks.
Read the Order here.