Tuesday 5 December 2023

What is the basic concept of admissibility of electronic record with reference to provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872?

 The admissibility of electronic records in India is governed by the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. With the advancement of technology, electronic records have become an integral part of contemporary evidence in legal proceedings. The Indian Evidence Act has been amended to address the admissibility of electronic records, recognizing their importance in litigation. Here's a note on the admissibility of electronic records with reference to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872:

1. Definition of Electronic Record (Section 2(1)(t)) of The Information Technology Act, 2000: It defines an electronic record as "data, record, or data generated, image, or sound stored, received, or sent in an electronic form or microfilm or computer-generated microfilm."

2. Admissibility of Electronic Records (Section 65A and 65B): The admissibility of electronic records is primarily governed by Sections 65A and 65B of the Indian Evidence Act.

  • Section 65A: This section states that the contents of electronic records may be proved in court by the production of the original electronic record or by the production of a copy of the original that satisfies the conditions mentioned in Section 65B.

  • Section 65B: Section 65B provides specific conditions that must be met for the admissibility of electronic records. These conditions are as follows:

    • The electronic record must be produced by the computer during the regular course of activities.

    • The information contained in the electronic record must be accurately stored in the computer.

    • The electronic record must be unaltered, unless changes occurred during the normal course of computer operations.

    • The computer that produced the record must have been used regularly for storing information.

    • The computer-generated information must be transferred onto a data-storage device, printout, or other output, which must be properly verified by an authorized person.

3. Certification Requirement (Section 65B(4)): For an electronic record to be admissible, it must be accompanied by a certificate as to the authenticity of the electronic record. This certificate should be signed by a person who is in charge of the operation of the computer or the relevant equipment. It is important to note that this certification is a critical requirement for the admissibility of electronic records.

4. 5. Judicial Precedents: Courts in India have provided various interpretations and applications of these provisions. Several judgments have emphasized the need for strict compliance with Section 65B and the certification requirement for electronic records to be admissible.

The admissibility of electronic records in Indian courts is crucial in this digital age, and the Indian Evidence Act has established a framework to ensure their proper acceptance as evidence. It is important for parties seeking to introduce electronic records to understand and comply with the statutory requirements laid out in Section 65A and Section 65B of the Act, as well as the evolving jurisprudence on the subject. Failure to do so may result in the exclusion of electronic records as evidence in legal proceedings.



CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 20825-20826 OF 2017


Dated: 14th July, 2020.

Citation: (2020) 7 SCC 1

Law Web: Landmark Supreme Court Judgment : Certificate required under Section 65B(4) is a condition precedent to the admissibility of Electronic evidence

The clarification referred to above is that the required
certificate under Section 65B(4) is unnecessary if the original document
itself is produced. This can be done by the owner of a laptop computer,
computer tablet or even a mobile phone, by stepping into the witness
box and proving that the concerned device, on which the original
information is first stored, is owned and/or operated by him. In cases
where the “computer” happens to be a part of a “computer system” or
“computer network” and it becomes impossible to physically bring such
system or network to the Court, then the only means of providing
information contained in such electronic record can be in accordance
with Section 65B(1), together with the requisite certificate under Section

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