Shafhi Mohammad v. The State of Himachal Pradesh - Supreme Court Important Judgment

 Shafhi Mohammad v. The State of Himachal Pradesh - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2018 - 


On 30th January, 2018, in the case of Shafhi Mohammad v. The State of Himachal Pradesh [Special Leave Petition (Crl.)No.2302 of 2017], while clarifying the legal position on the subject on the admissibility of the electronic evidence, especially by a party who is not in possession of device from which the document is produced, the Supreme Court held that “such party cannot be required to produce certificate under Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act. The applicability of requirement of certificate being procedural can be relaxed by Court wherever interest of justice so justifies.”


It was held that “the applicability of procedural requirement under Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act of furnishing certificate is to be applied only when such electronic evidence is produced by a person who is in a position to produce such certificate being in control of the said device and not of the opposite party. In a case where electronic evidence is produced by a party who is not in possession of a device, applicability of Sections 63 and 65 of the Evidence Act cannot be held to be excluded. In such case, procedure under the said Sections can certainly be invoked. If this is not so permitted, it will be denial of justice to the person who is in possession of authentic evidence/witness but on account of manner of proving, such document is kept out of consideration by the court in absence of certificate under Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act, which party producing cannot possibly secure. Thus, requirement of certificate under Section 65B(4) is not always mandatory.” 

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