Akhil Kumar Agarwal v. State of Uttarakhand

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Akhil Kumar Agarwal v. State of Uttarakhand
MANU/UC/0661/2019

In the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital
Cr A 77, 83, 157/2017
Before Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Alok Kumar Verma
Decided on September 02, 2019

Relevancy of the case: Admissibility of mobile devices and CDRs without fulfilling the requirements under Section 65B

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 2(1)(t), 2(1)(o))
  • The Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 63, 65A, 65B)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  1. The appellant Mr Akhil Agarwal was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of his deceased friend Mr Sachin Gupta.
  2. The appellant obtained a fake ID mobile number which was being used by him from 05.10.2010 to 24.11.2010 to make the ransom call.
  3. On 24.11.2010, a call was received by the informant on his mobile from the mobile number of the deceased Sachin Gupta at about 06:03 PM.
  4. On 24.11.2010 at about 3 PM, the deceased was seen along with the appellants near the Government Hospital by the witness.
  5. The witness Deepak Arora saw appellant-Vimal Sharma with appellant-Akhil Kumar Agarwal near Manpur Tiraha, Kashipur on 24.11.2010 at about 06.00 p.m. and at that time appellant-Vimal Sharma was talking on his mobile to someone.
  6. As per the witness statements, the locations of appellants were verified using the CDRs.
  7. On 04.12.2010 and 05.12.2010 on the identification of appellant-Vimal Sharma, Hotel Register, Ext. Ka. 18, was taken into custody by the police from the Hotel Taj, Corbett, Ramnagar and recovered a cord, by which the deceased was strangulated.
  8. Mobile Numbers of the appellants were found to be in continuous contact with each other.

Opinion of the Bench

  • Electronic evidence may not be clearly specified in Section 2(t) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 but in the present case, it is an established fact that the appellant used his mobile phone in order to make the ransom phone call and also purchased that number only to contact the deceased. Since the mobile phone was conclusively used by the appellant, it can be allowed to be produced as evidence in the court of law even though it was not in accordance to the definition of “electronic record” as per the Information Technology Act, 2000 or satisfied the provisions of Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Final Decision

  • The appeal was dismissed and the High Court reiterated the decision of the lower court that the appellants were responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Mr Sachin Gupta.
  • The mobile devices were admissible as electronic evidence in the court of law as the information affiliated with it was conclusive in nature.

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