Is email admissible as evidence in Indian courts? A question asked by many lawmakers, police officials, and individuals willing to use their email conversation to strengthen their case. However, it is distressing to know that the email which could be a strong proof of “who said to whom” can easily be tampered with.

Times are changing! The way we communicated earlier isn’t the same as today. In the past, telegraphs, letters, and smoke signals were enough to convey our message to the person we wanted to communicate with.

The times are transforming! Our current communication style differs from that of the past. The person we wanted to communicate with could receive our message via smoke signals, letters, or telegraphs in the past.

But with the development of technology, there are now a lot of easy and efficient modern forms of communication.

Furthermore, electronic mail, or e-mail, is one of the most widely used channels for formal communication.

That being said, a blessing can quickly become a curse. Cyberspace is growing along with the digitization boom, but misuse of it is also increasing at the same rate. Given, how easy it is to tamper with the e-evidence, it puts a question mark on the authenticity of e-documents in the court of law.

So, the question arises is email admissible as evidence in India, and if yes, how to prove it is authentic too? Continue reading to find out the answers.

Are Emails Permissible as Evidence in the Indian Courts?

The answer to this is Yes. Since most of the formal interactions take place on emails, the Supreme court of India has made email admissible as evidence in the Indian Evidence Act, 1892.

*Sections 63 and 65 of the Evidence Act, 1892

It majorly deals with and mentions the conditions for admissibility of electronic evidence in the court.

Section 65A of the Evidence Act, 1892

It mentions proving the contents of electronic records in accordance with the provisions of Section 65B of the Evidence Act.

Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1892

According to this section, any information contained in an electronic record is a document. Moreover, it is also admissible as evidence without further proof of the production of the original.

However, the only requirement to prove it in court is to satisfy the conditions set out in Section 65B(2) – (5) of the Evidence Act.

Conditions to Meet Under Section 65B (2) of the Evidence Act, 1892

Section 65B of the Evidence Act specifies both technical and non-technical requirements for the admissibility of electronic evidence.

Section 65B of the Evidence Act, Subsection (2), states the technological circumstances to use a duplicate copy (including a print-out) of an original electronic document.

These are:

*The computer that produced the electronic record must have been in regular use at the time of its creation;

*The type of information contained in the electronic record must be regularly and ordinarily fed into the computer;

*The computer was operating properly; and

*The identical copy must be a reproduction of the original electronic record.

Need of a Computer Forensics Investigator-

The reasons for employing cyber forensics experts are numerous. His multi-faceted skills not only help in proving the authenticity of emails but are useful in many different scenarios too.

Some of them are as follows:

*To begin, since we’re talking about electronic evidence, an examination of the accused’s computer systems is necessary, which only computer forensics specialists can perform.

*Secondly, if there is any deleted evidence, the forensics expert can recover it from the hardware/software using forensic tools.

*A collection of evidence alone will not suffice to establish your argument. The validity of the evidence must also be proven in a court of law.

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