Relevancy and Admissibility of Electronic Evidence

Anil Kumar


The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 earlier had enacted keeping in view only the physical World, but later it was suitably amended to include the concept of electronic evidence. The proliferation of computers, the social influence of information technology and the ability to store information in digital form have all required Indian law to be amended to include provisions on the appreciation of digital evidence. In 2000, Parliament enacted the Information Technology act, 2000, which amended the existing Indian statutes to allow for the admissibility of digital evidence. The Information Technology Act is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Electronic Commerce and, together with providing amendments to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. It recognize transactions that are carried out through electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication. It is the hypothesis that Indian Evidence Law was highly inadequate to deal with challenges of the 21st century. However there has been a good attempt by the legislatures to amend it suitably. Much have been done but much more remains to be done, for some areas are still left at the mercy of the exercise of discretion by the Indian Courts.

The digital evidence means any information created or stored in digital form that is relevant to a case.  This includes, but is not limited to emails, text documents, spreadsheets, images and graphics, database files, deleted files and data back-ups. Electronic Evidence may be located in floppy disks, zip disks, hard drives, CD-ROMs or DVDs, as well as portable electronic devices such as cellular phones servers.

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