Laddi v. State of Haryana
In the High Court of Punjab & Haryana
CRR No. 398 of 2013
Before Paramjeet Singh, J.
Decided on May 2, 2013
Relevancy of the case: Relevancy and admissibility of secondary evidence of electronic record.
Statutes & Provisions Involved:
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (S.376, S.506)
- The Evidence Act, 1872 (S.2, S.3, S.8, S. 146(1), S.153, S. 155(3), S.165A)
- The IT Act, 2000 (S.2, S.4, S.7, S.92)
- The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (S.311)
Relevant Facts of the Case:
- An FIR was filed on 17.08.2012 at the police station, Kaithal District against the petitioner for committing rape upon the prosecutrix.
- The petitioner strongly denies the same.
- It is alleged that on 11.08.2012, there was a conversation between the prosecutrix and accused-petitioner from the cell phone of the petitioner’s brother which had the facility of recording conversation. This fact was brought to his notice by his brother.
- From the conservation, the petitioner wanted to prove there was a love affair between the prosecutrix and him.
- The said conversation had been converted into a CD with a purpose to confront the prosecutrix with her voice in the CD if the court admits the evidence, allows for re-examination and sends her voice sample for comparison and analysis in the forensic lab.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The State Counsel had opposed the said applications on the ground that it is not maintainable because they are devoid of merit and vague. According to the learned counsel, even if there was a conversation between them, it did not give him the license to commit rape upon the prosecutrix.
- The State Counsel, however, denied the conversation between the accused and prosecutrix in the first place.
- The next contention was whether such electronic evidence can actually be considered the evidence and made admissible before the court or not.
- The petitioner counsel wanted the court to accept applications as every person including an accused should have equal opportunity and the right to a fair trial.
Opinion of the Bench
The court stated that it is settled law that the right of accused to adduce defence evidence is not only a formality but an essential part of a criminal trial where every opportunity is necessary and it must be given to the accused to prove his innocence. In this case, the petitioner had filed three applications, one for the re-examination of the prosecutrix, other for the taking of voice sample of the prosecutrix, and the last one for their comparison by sending to the Forensic lab to prove his innocence and false implication in this case. Given an opportunity, the petitioner could prove the conversation and transcripts of the conversation which was considered relevant and admissible evidence in accordance with the law, subject to the satisfaction of conditions as held in various preceding Supreme Court decisions. Therefore, the court thought it would opt to grant the petitioner an opportunity to prove his innocence.
As a result, all three criminal revisions were allowed by the court.