Mamata Bhowmik v. Union of India

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Mamata Bhowmik v. Union of India
2019 6 GLR 219
In the High Court of Guwahati
WP(C) No 8610/2018
Before  Justice AMB Barus and Justice A. Borthakur
Decided on February 19, 2019

Relevancy of the case: Requirements under Section 65B(4) for admitting a digitally signed copy of the voter’s list

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 2(p), 5)
  • The Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 65B(4), 63, 65B(1), 65)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • A voter’s list of 1966 of Village Lokhopara, Mouza-Missamari, Sub-division: Tezpur (Sadar) was exhibited by the petitioner in a proceeding to establish that one of the names in the list is petitioner’s father.
  • The voter list along with the certificate was digitally signed and therefore did not need any physical signature. They were claimed to be legally valid under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • But, the tribunal by its order declared the petitioner to be a foreigner while discussing the evidentiary value of the voter list.
  • The present case is in respect of the admissibility of a document which is printed form on paper of any information contained in an electronic record.

Opinion of the Bench 

  • The digital signature of Prabir Kumar Dutta contained in the voter’s list of 1966 would have to be construed as a document which satisfies the requirement of Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act, 1872. This means that the voter’s list of 1966 is a duly certified document under the said provision.

Final Decision

  • The said document having the information contained in an electronic record and duly certified under section 65B(4) and would be admissible in any proceeding without any further proof of production of original, to be a piece of evidence with respect to the contents of an electronic record.

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