Relevancy and Admissibility of E-Records

Technology has advanced rapidly over a period. This century saw a technological revolution which enthralled not only India but the whole world. In today’s world electronic devices used everywhere. And it is not only limited to established organizations or institutions but available to every individual at swipe of a finger. It helps people to communicate locally and globally with ease. Due to which the reliance on electronic means of communication, e-commerce and storage of information in e-form increasing rapidly. This growth of reliance on electronic means of communications, e-commerce and storage of information in e-form has most certainly caused a need to modify the law relating to information technology and rules of admissibility of electronic records both in civil and criminal matters in India. Electronic evidence is defined as information and data of asset to an investigation that is stored on, received or transferred by an electronic device. It is any probatory information stored or transferred in electronic form that a party to a court case may use at trial. As courts continue to wrestle with this new electronic frontier it is crucial to stress that electronic evidence is subject to the same rules of evidence as paper documents. It can be obtained in mails, digitized photos, transaction logins, instant messages, documents from accounting programs, spread sheets, browser history data, backups, printouts, GPS tracks, videos or audio files. E-records inclines to be more abundant, more difficult to annihilate, not difficult to modified, easily duplicated, potentially more expressive and more readily available, and such unique nature of e-evidence, as well as the ease with which it can be exploited or falsified, creates obstacle to admissibility not faced with other evidence. Electronic evidence challenge evidentiary rules grounded in a more tangible way. Certification of such record is perhaps the most difficult test as courts seek to determine its admissibility.

During trials, judges are often asked to order on the admissibility of electronic records. How the court orders on questions of admissibility could eventually impact the outcome of a civil lawsuit or determine the difference between conviction and acquittal of a defendant. These gadgets, the result of technology can be used for legal and illegal acts. For example, when data recorded or stored in the memory of a computer is printed out in paper if it is not easy to say that the version in the memory is a document. Nor is it easy to determine that the print out is an original or a duplicate. Also, even if such things (audio, tape recording, a video tape recording, electronic mail on computer screen) when submitted as evidence and such things as electronically transmitted directs in commercial transactions can be regarded as document.

The growth of computers, the social impact of information technology and the ability to store information in digital form have all required Indian law to be amended to include provisions on the appreciation of e-records.

In 2000 Parliament enacted the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, that amended the existing Indian statutes to allow for the admissibility of electronic evidence. The IT Act is based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Electronic Commerce and, at the side of providing amendments to the Indian Evidence Act 1872, the Indian Penal Code 1860 and also the Banker’s Book Evidence Act 1891, it recognizes transactions that are administered through electronic information interchange and different means of electronic communication.

Categories: Education

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