K. Ramajayam v. Inspector of Police
Referred Trial 1/2015, Cr A 110/2015
In the High Court of Judicature at Madras
Before Justice R. Sudhakar and Justice P. N. Prakash
Decided January 27, 2016
Relevancy of the case: Certificate requirements for electronic evidence under Section 65B
Statutes & Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 2(t))
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 302, 380, 404, 449)
- The Evidence Act,1872 (Section 65A, 65B)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- Dhanaram & Gunaram were brothers and ran a pawnbroking and jewellery Shop, named “Balaji Pawn Brokers.”
- The deceased Gunaram opened the shop at around 8:00am. Around 9:00am, Dhanaram came there and after being there for some time, he left for some other work.
- On returning to the shop at around 12 PM, he was shocked to see his brother lying in a pool of blood. He raised an alarm and adjacent shop owners came to the scene.
- Apart from murder, 935g of gold was also stolen.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The counsel for petitioners placed strong reliance on the Supreme Court judgement in PV Anvar v. PV Basheer wherein Section 65A and 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 were interpreted. The Supreme Court held that electronic evidence recorded in a CD, without a certificate as per Section 65B, is inadmissible evidence.
- The public prosecutor submitted that in the same case as referred to by the petitioner, the Supreme Court has stated that if an electronic record is produced as primary evidence under Section 62, the same is admissible without compliance with the conditions set out in Section 65B. In the present case where large establishments
Opinion of the Bench
- The bench was of the opinion that electronic evidence may not be clearly specified in Section 2(t) of the IT Act, 2000, but in certain cases, the entire servers cannot be brought into the courtrooms. In the present case, the accused was clearly caught on camera during the commission of his offence and therefore, the CCTV footage must be considered as electronic evidence.
- The conviction of the appellant/accused under Section 404 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the sentence imposed thereon are set aside.
- Convictions of the appellant/accused under Sections 449, 392 and 302 is confirmed.
- Sentences imposed for the offences under Sections 449 and 392 IPC are also confirmed.
- The death sentence imposed for the offence under Section 302 is set aside. Instead, the appellant/accused is sentenced to life imprisonment. It is directed that the accused should serve a minimum period of 25 years in prison during which he will not be entitled to any statutory remission or commutation.