Girwar Singh v. CBI

Sammed AkiwateCase Summary

Girwar Singh v. CBI
(2016) 5 RCR (Cri) 757
In the High Court of Delhi
Crl.A. 263/2009
Before Justice Vipin Sanghi
Decided on April 19, 2016

Relevancy of the case: Applicability of Section 65B if original evidence is produced

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 2(1)(t), 2(1)(I), 2(1)(r))
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 3, 65B)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • CBI was assigned to register a case on the basis of a complaint. A firm was registered with the Delhi Sales Tax department and it was involved in the business of spare parts of diesel generator sets.
  • One of the officers involved in the process asked for bribery. If not paid, the said officer would raise audit objections.
  • The conversation between the appellant and the complainant was recorded in a Samsung digital recorder. It was heard at the spot, which confirmed the discussion between the complainant (PW-3) and appellant number 1 about the sales tax matter and the settlement of bribe between them. The conversation recorded in the digital Samsung recorder was transferred to another cassette, which was also sealed at the spot.

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

  • The petitioner/appellant’s counsel argued that the digital tape recorder, which was used to record the questioned conversation, was neither produced before the court not it was examined. Moreover, the certificate under Section 65B was not produced with respect to the transcript memo prepared from the conversation.
  • The special public prosecutor argued that the original recording was transferred into two cassettes. One of these cassettes was sealed and other was not sealed. Subsequently, the original recording was deleted. Further, Section 65B is not applicable as the transcript has only been typed in the computer and it has not come into existence on a computer, like an email or digitally signed document.

Opinion of the Bench

  • When a document is an ‘electronic record’ within the definition of Section 2(1)(t) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (hereinafter referred as ‘IT Act’), it must be filed along with a certificate in compliance of the conditions mentioned in Section 65B of the Evidence Act. However, if the original electronic record is produced in the court, the compliance of Section 65B is not mandatory.

Final Decision

  • The demand of the bribe stands established by the testimonies of the complainant. The acceptance and recovery of the bribe amount also stand established beyond any reasonable doubt.
  • Because the electronic record was moved into two new cassettes and the original recording was deleted and was not brought in the eyes of the court for a very long duration, the electronic evidence is inadmissible in the court of justice.
  • Assessing the entire evidence on record, the only irresistible conclusion reached is that the appellants raised a demand for illegal gratification, and accepted the bribe amount. which was recovered on. Accordingly, the conviction and sentence are upheld.

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