Rahul Verma v. State

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Rahul Verma v. State

Rahul Verma v. State
In the High Court of Allahabad
Cr. Rev. 1269/2019
Before Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh
Decided on September 23, 2019

Relevancy of the case: Submission of Section 65B certificate after the production of electronic evidence during the trial

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 65A, 65B, 65B (4))
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 201, 302, 364)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The present criminal review was preferred by the accused/revisionist against decision passed by the Trial Court in B.I. v. Rahul Verma, in relation to the crime number R.C.14(S)/2010 under Sections 302, 201, and 364 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. ¬†This trial is pending before the Court of Special Judge C.B.I., Court No. 2, Lucknow. In the impugned order, the learned trial court approved the application lodged by the C.B.I. on 06.08.2019 for accepting on record the certificate according to Section 65B of the Evidence Act in respect of CDRs associated with two numbers.
  • A charge sheet was lodged against the revisionist. A pile of human bones was obtained from the IIT Campus, Kanpur, as per the aforementioned charge sheet. It was forwarded for inspection to CFSL Chandigarh. The lab submitted a report on 05.04.2011. Document D-32, a true copy of CDR, and D-33, e-mail messages, and Exh. Ka29 and Ka25 were included along with the aforementioned charge-sheet. The certificate pursuant to Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act was not included together with the charge sheet.
  • The accused-applicant submitted an application No. 25-B before the trial court asserting that the electronic record/evidence is not admissible in court as an evidence in the absence of the certificate as per the Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  • The CBI, later on, submitted the aforementioned certificate and subsequently, an application was lodged by the accused/revisionist in the trial court stating that this evidence is not admissible in the court as the certificate was submitted later on during the trial and not along with the charge sheet. This criminal revision was lodged by the accused/revisionist as a result of the order that was passed against the accused/revisionist by the trial court.

Opinion of the Bench

  • There is no restriction in accepting a certificate pursuant to Section 65B(4) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 if it has not been filed together with the charge sheet. The trial is still to be concluded and the accused may take advantage of the freedom to examine or re-examine any witness regarding the certificate and electronic call particulars of the two mobile numbers involved in the presence case. According to Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act, the certificate is a procedural prerequisite for the admissibility of additional electronic record evidence and can thus be issued at even a later point during the trial if it was not included with the charge sheet.
  • It is, however, the court’s responsibility under Section 311 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to consider that the best evidence available is put before it for the purpose of avoiding the miscarriage of justice and for the just judgment of the case. The court is accorded broad discretion for the said intent.

Final Decision

  • The petition was disposed thereof as no impropriety was found in the impugned order.
  • The accused revisionist was given the liberty to file an appropriate application to recall any witness that may be important for electronic record and, if so informed, the certificate issued under Section 65B(4) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the trial court shall take the required decision on such a request in accordance with the applicable laws.

This case summary has been prepared by Akshara Kamath, an undergraduate student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in June/July 2020.