Digital Evidence: An Indian Perspective

Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law ReviewNbr. 5, October 2008Papers

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Law relating to digital evidence in India. Changes in the Evidence Act. Evidence. Admissions. Evidence to be given when the statement forms part of electronic record. Admissibility of digital evidence. Conditions for the admissibility of digital evidence. Presumptions regarding digital evidence. Gazettes in electronic form. Electronic agreements. Secure electronic records and digital signatures. Electronic messages. Electronic records five years old. Changes in the Banker's Book Evidence Act, 1891. Changes in Indian Penal Code, 1860. Recent rulings of Indian courts on digital evidence. Search and seizure. Evidence recorded on to CD. Admissibility of intercepted telephone calls. Examination of a witness by video conference. Concluding remarks.

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Digital Evidence: An Indian Perspective

Tejas D. Karia1

This short paper is based on the presentation made at the first International Conference on Digital Evidence held at London on 26 and 27 June 2008, and primarily deals with the amendments to Indian law, to include the provisions relating to digital evidence and rules regarding the recognition and admissibility of digital evidence under Indian law. The recent decisions of the Indian courts on digital evidence are also discussed briefly.

Law relating to digital evidence in India

The proliferation of computers and the influence of information technology in human lives and the storage of information in digital form required amendments to Indian law to include the provisions regarding the appreciation of digital evidence. In 2000, the Indian Parliament enacted the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), which brought in corresponding amendments to existing Indian statutes to make digital evidence admissible. The IT Act is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce and, apart from providing amendments to Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Evidence Act), the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Banker's Book Evidence Act, 1891, mainly recognizes transactions that are carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communications.

Changes in the Evidence Act

Although the Evidence Act has been in force for many years, it has been amended from time to time to acknow...

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