ARE WHATSAPP CHATS AND EMAILS ADMISSIBLE IN THE COURT AS EVIDENCE?

Evidence is an important aspect of any case in a court of law because every allegation or demand in court has to be supported by some evidence otherwise it will be considered baseless. The word ‘Evidence’ has derived from the Latin expression ‘Evidens Evidere’ which means the state of evidence being plain, apparent, or notorious. 

According to Section 3 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, “all documents including any electronic record produced before this court for inspection can be treated as evidence”. 

Section 62, Indian Evidence Act provides that, “Primary evidence means that the document itself produced for the inspection of the court” and Section 63 of the Evidence Act, provides that, “secondary evidence briefly includes certified copies and oral accounts of the contents of the document”. 

The Information Technology Act inserted Section 65A and Section 65B in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, these sections talk about electronic evidence and its admissibility. There are basically four conditions described under section 65B(2) of the Indian evidence act to admit the secondary nature of electronic evidence as evidence in a court of law: 

  • The computer/device from which the concerned information was produced must be used regularly over that period of time and by the person having lawful control over that computer; 
  • The concerned information, during the said period, was of such kind that it is regular and ordinary in such activity; 
  • The computer must be functioning properly during the concerned period; and 
  • The information contained in the duplicate copy which is produced before the court must be the same as it is in the original electronic record.  

In Rakesh Kumar Singla v. Union of India, the Punjab and Haryana High Court rely upon WhatsApp chats while granting a bail application in an NDPS case and also held that without any certificate under S. 65B of evidence act WhatsApp chats cannot be treated as evidence.  

Hence, WhatsApp chats and emails can be admissible in court if it fulfills the conditions under section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act. They can be treated in a court as evidence but the process and conditions of its admissibility changes with its nature.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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