In the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur, in an order dated 17th January 2017, regarding E.P. no 01/2014, (S.Tiwari Vs Arjun Ajay Singh) an important confirmation of a process has been added to the Cyber Jurisprudence of Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act.
In this case, there was a video shot by sub contractors of Election commission during an election campaign which was handed over to the election commission. After the election, one of the parties has raised an election petition in which he has produced a copy of the CD obtained from the Election Commission as a “Certified Copy” and produced it in the Court. Initially, it was not having Section 65B certificate and the petitioner again approached the Election Commission, obtained another set and presented it to the Court.
However, the Court observed that the original document in this case was contained in the memory card (Ed: or the tape) of the Camera and this was first transferred to a CD when it was handed over to the Election commission and then this was again transferred by the Election Commission onto another CD and handed over to the petitioner.
The Court held that at each transfer point there has to be what it called a “Contemporaneous Certificate under Section 65B”. In this case the video grapher should have given the first certificate to EC and EC should have given the second certificate to the petitioner. Since this was not properly done, the Court refused to entertain the evidence.
The contention of the Court is on the right lines even though it may surprise many. The undersigned has been advocating it to some where necessary.
It is good that Courts have been deliberating on the issue of Section 65B certification in great detail and this will be discussed again and again in the days to come.