Eliciting Electronic Evidence in Court under the Indian Evidence Act

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, while originally framed for physical evidence, has adapted to the digital age through Section 65B, “Admissibility of electronic records.” Eliciting electronic evidence effectively in court hinges on understanding its specific requirements and adhering to them throughout the process. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Admissibility Criteria:

Before introducing electronic evidence, ensure it meets the criteria outlined in Section 65B(2):

  • Production of Certificate: A certificate issued by a person authorized in the prescribed manner must accompany the electronic record. This certificate verifies the authenticity of the record and affirms compliance with the prescribed conditions.
  • Computer Output Requirement: The information must be stored, recorded, or copied as computer output. Screenshots, PDFs, or printed emails qualify, while handwritten notes on digital files likely wouldn’t.
  • Integrity and Reliability: The evidence must be shown to be integrally produced, meaning it hasn’t been altered or manipulated, and systematically maintained, following proper record-keeping practices.
  • Intention of Producing Records: The data should have been created or kept in the ordinary course of business or activity with the intention of preserving such records. This eliminates personal notes or drafts not meant for permanent storage.

Presenting the Evidence:

  • Authentication: Clearly demonstrate the source and authenticity of the evidence. Explain how it was accessed, copied, and preserved from tampering. Witness testimony from IT personnel involved in handling the data can strengthen this process.
  • Maintain Chain of Custody: Document every step of the evidence journey, from collection to presentation. Who accessed it, when, and with what tools? Maintaining a detailed log minimizes concerns about manipulation or fabrication.
  • Expert Assistance: Consider seeking help from forensic computer analysts in complex cases. They can analyze metadata, timestamps, and file history to provide expert opinions on the evidence’s integrity and origin.

Additional Considerations:

  • Relevance: Like any evidence, electronic data must be relevant to the case at hand. Ensure it directly or indirectly connects to the disputed facts.
  • Best Practices: Employing industry-standard tools and procedures for data retrieval, analysis, and preservation strengthens the evidence’s credibility. Consulting with an IT professional familiar with court requirements can be invaluable.
  • Legal Advice: Navigating the intricacies of electronic evidence is crucial. Consulting with a legal expert specializing in cyber law is strongly recommended to ensure proper presentation and adherence to legal procedures.

By understanding the legal framework and adopting best practices, you can effectively present electronic evidence in court and contribute to a fair and accurate judicial process.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.