The widespread use of electronic means is facilitating the business to function efficiently. On the other hand, it is crucial to understand electronic devices as evidence as per India’s court of law.
Many businesses conduct their meetings and deals on virtual platforms like whatsapp and emails. Still, the need to note the electronic records of documents and conversations shared on whats app preserved to keep as evidence for the future purpose. The two laws governing related to electronic records are as follows:
- The Indian Evidence Act 1872
- The information Technology Act 2000
WhatsApp Chat Evidence Validity in India
The Information Technology Act 2000 came into existence considering keeping with the rapid transformation in technology. Furthermore, the Indian Evidence Act 1872 in 2016 has interpreted electronic records as valid evidence.
According to the evidence law, there are two types of evidence, i.e., primary and secondary evidence. The primary evidence includes original copies of the essential documents used as admissible evidence. Additionally, the compositions of the original documents are secondary evidence.
Any electronic device that produces the evidence is the primary evidence. The reproduction of the primary evidence in the hard copies is the secondary evidence. On the other hand, the court has become strict regarding the presentation of electronic records as evidence.
They are taking some essential measures to check out its authenticity and avoid the tampering of electronic evidence. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872’s section 65 provides a situation in which the party can present the court’s electronic records as secondary evidence.
Section 65B reveals that the output of evidence from the computer in its copy format is secondary evidence.
List of conditions to consider regarding the electronic records
Section 65B (2) provides the lists of states considering the computer output as evidence.
- The computer output is containing the information used as evidence. Moreover, it has been used regularly for storing data, and the person should have legal control of it.
- The computer should consider as an ordering property at that time.
- On the other hand, the information stored in the computer should be in the ordinary course of time.
- All the information feed in the computer that to use as evidence in the regular course of time.
These are the four conditions. Out of which one has to fulfill to use the electronic records as evidence in court. Such evidence is present in the court then, a person holding the official position signs the statement related to the authenticity of the evidence. Then, the electronic evidence presented in the court found valid.
The what’s app chats have been used as evidence in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case and Arnab Goswami (Republic TV Editor-in-Chief) TRP scam case. Section 62 stated that the what’s app chats out of scope couldn’t consider as evidence. On the other hand, section 65A of Evidence Act 2000 laid some provisions regarding using what’s app chat as evidence.