Is phone audio recording admissible evidence in court?

Is phone audio recording admissible evidence in court?

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In this article all of your doubts will be covered of is phone audio recording is admissible evidence in court or what are the conditions related to it to be admissible evidence. There sure are many questions which are needed to be answered.

GROWTH OF TECHNOLOGY

With the growth of technology there are many machines or we can say devices which can be used to record a video or only voice. Many of these devices are developed recently and are a matter of question because their validity is being questioned by many judges and by many courts. Devices like mobile phone, tape recorder and many more devices which are a new product of technology are a matter of question.

Most of the question raised is on their validity because there are many software and other methods by which phone call recording, videos, photos and other electronic evidence can be tampered. Courts wants be sure enough that the evidence are not tampered and are full valid before taking any decisions based on electronic evidence. The Indian evidence act 1872 is an old act and came a lot before these new technologies. At that time when the act was being made many of these technologies did not even existed or was not that advance as we see them today.

  Phone audio recording is treated as an electronic record and is not defined under Indian Evidence Act 1872 however it is defined under Information and technology act 2000. According to section 2(t) of IT act 2000, an electronic record is defined as data, record or data generated, image or sound stored, received or sent in an electronic form or micro film or computer generated micro fiche.

Section 65(B) of Indian Evidence Act 1872 deals with admissibility of electronic record according to it:-

  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any information contained in an electronic record which are printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer (hereinafter referred to as the computer output) shall be deemed to be also a document, if the conditions mentioned in this section are satisfied in relation to the information and computer in question and shall be admissible in any proceedings, without further proof or production of the original, as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

Now obviously there are many conditions which need to be fulfilled for it to be an admissible record.

We can clearly see that phone audio recording is considered to be an admissible record according to Indian Evidence Act 1872, surely there are many conditions which need to be satisfied for it to be an admissible record.

In a case of R.M Malkani vs State of Maharashtra, (1973) 1 SCC 471 (at page 477) : AIR 1973 SC 157 : (1973) 2 SCR 417 : 1973 Cri LJ 228,  the Supreme Court held as under:

“  Tape recorded conversation is admissible provided first the conversation in relevant to the matters in issue; secondly, there is identification of the voice; and thirdly, the accuracy of the tape recorded conversation in proved by eliminating the possibility of erasing the tape record. A contemporaneous tape record of relevant conversation is a relevant fact and is admissible under section 8 of the Evidence Act. It is res gestae. It is also comparable to a photograph of a relevant incident.”.                                                                                  …Source tilakmarg.com

-Vaibhav Prakash

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