SUPREME COURT HAS HELD THAT A MEMORY CARD IS A RELEVANT PIECE OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

In a recent case of P. Gopalkrishnan v/s State of Kerela & Anr, the Supreme Court has passed a Judgment dated on 2nd December, 2019, wherein,the central issue was whether the Accused was entitled to the copy of the contents of the Memory Card under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 as amended thereof.

The Petitioner sought a copy of a Memory Card that contains a video footage of the assault allegedly committed by his co-Accused at his behest. The relevant question was that would the Memory Card be considered a “material object” or “document” in the said case.

The Judgment referred to the following provisions that define certain records as documentary evidence:

  1. Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 as amended thereof – documentary evidence includes electronic record.
  2. So far, various courts have held tape records of speeches, and compact discs containing visuals etc., to be documentary evidence.
  3. Section 2(1)(t) of the Information Technology Act 2000 as amended thereof – “electronic record” includes ‘data, record or data generated, image or sound stored, received or sent in an electronic form or micro film or computer ­generated micro fiche”.

The Apex Court herein considered Memory Tape as a documentary evidence based on the aforesaid principles and held that “On a bare reading of the definition of “evidence”, it clearly takes within its fold documentary evidence to mean and include all documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the Court.”

GOVIND GUPTA

ASSOCIATE

THE INDIAN LAWYER

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