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Admission of Evidence and Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872

This article delves into Chamber appeal against an order dated October 16, 2017, issued by the Joint Registrar. The appeal challenges objections raised by the defendants regarding the admissibility of certain documents presented by the plaintiff and the refusal to accept a Certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872.

The Delhi High Court, referencing the judgment in *Eli Lilly & Co. vs. Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd.* (2016) 235 DLT 381, has subsequently taken the Certificate on record. This case presents significant questions regarding the procedural and substantive aspects of digital evidence admissibility under Indian law.

Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872:

Section 65B addresses the admissibility of electronic records. According to this provision, any information contained in an electronic record, which is printed on paper, stored, recorded, or copied, shall be deemed to be a document admissible in any proceedings, provided certain conditions are met.

Subsection (4) mandates that a certificate, identifying the electronic record containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced, must accompany the document. This certificate should be signed by a responsible official, providing assurance of the document's authenticity and the reliability of the electronic process.

Judicial Precedents:

Eli Lilly & Co. Vs. Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd. established that the Certificate under Section 65B could be filed along with the affidavit by way of examination-in-chief. This ruling underscores a flexible approach, allowing for the certificate to be submitted at a later stage in the proceedings, ensuring that substantive justice is not hindered by procedural technicalities.

Facts and Procedural History:
The plaintiff, in the present case, attempted to introduce certain documents into evidence, purportedly meeting the requirements of Section 65B. However, the Joint Registrar rejected these documents, citing non-compliance with the statutory prerequisites. Specifically, the Joint Registrar refused to accept the Certificate under Section 65B, which was presented at a later stage. The plaintiff's appeal to the High Court questioned the rigidity of this refusal and sought a more lenient interpretation in line with the Eli Lilly precedent.

The Chamber appeal highlights a critical aspect of modern legal proceedings: the admissibility of electronic evidence and the procedural requirements governing it. The Delhi High Court's decision to accept the Certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872, in light of the *Eli Lilly* judgment, signifies a progressive step towards a more flexible and just legal process.

While statutory compliance is indispensable, courts must also ensure that such compliance does not become a barrier to the administration of justice. The acceptance of Section 65B certificates at a later stage, as upheld in this appeal, exemplifies a balanced and fair approach, promoting the integrity and efficacy of the judicial process.

Case Title: Laverana GMBH Vs MAC Personal Care Pvt. Ltd.
Order Date: 28.02.2018
Case No. CS Comm 122 of 2018
Neutral Citation:NA
Name of Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Rajiv Sahai Endlaw. H.J.

Ideas, thoughts, views, information, discussions and interpretation expressed herein are being shared in the public Interest. Readers' discretion is advised as these are subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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