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Admissibility of Tape recorded evidence under IEA

The 1872 Indian Evidence Act dealt primarily only with 2 kinds of evidence, i.e. Oral and documentary. In previous times, it has never been realized that the judiciary would have to experience plenty of evidences and address their validity with the progress of time and technology.

The term Evidence was derived from the Latin term 'evidere' that inferred to demonstrate especially, to explain view or vision, to indisputably discover, to prove, to sure, to find a way to show. Proof means, as shown by Sir Blackstone, whatever explains, affirms or recognizes the truth of present facts or emphasizes on either one aspect or another. According to Sir Taylor, the Rule of Evidence means that every self-evident fact is shown or rejected by contention. The validity of the same is proposed for legal review.[i]

Under the legal framework, the development and application of evidence depends firstly on the construction on which the weight of justification rests. For the purposes for selecting and hearing a particular lawsuit, the permissible evidence is something the courts receive and consider. There are two fundamental weight of-verification considerations in the legal framework. The initial one is upon whom burden is based.

The burden of proof is imposed on the indictment in several, especially in western, courts. The corresponding thinking is that the degree of confirmation of certainty must be met, based both on the amount and quality of proof. For criminal and common cases, such levels are distinct, the former requiring evidence sensitive history, the latter considering just which party seems to have the supremacy of evidence, or if the claim is almost certainly true or false. If the value of validation has been met, the judge will decide considering all the facts and circumstances. Proof is first collected and then brought to the courts at the end for verification.

Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act defines evidence as:

Evidence means and includes

  • All the statements which the court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under enquiry; such statements are called Oral evidence;
  • All the documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the court; such documents are called documentary evidence;[ii]

The definition provided in Section 3 mentions about Oral evidence that has to be recorded under S. 60, IEA. Oral Evidence is every one of such reasons that the courts require or predict that the witnesses must render in their nature with regard to the truth of the facts. Oral Evidence is evidence which has been witnessed or heard by the witness. Oral proof should be continuously instant or positive. Evidence is instantaneous when the main reality in question is identified explicitly.

While on the other hand documentary evidence is referred to as each of such documents which are filed in the courts for inspection of records. It is the documentary evidence that will demonstrate the true nature of the gatherings and their cognizance and such evidences have higher priority than any oral evidence. Apart from these, the other evidences are the Primary evidences which according to the S. 62, IEA, which is considered to be the top class evidence.

Secondary Evidence as stated under S. 63 is optional evidence and possesses an additional position. Additionally, real evidence, hearsay evidence, judicial and non-judicial evidence, direct and circumstantial evidences are also the types under which various evidences are submitted.

Another major aspect while dealing with evidences under IEA is the electronic evidences. Electronic Evidence is "documentation of evidentiary value which is collected or transferred in electronic code[iii]." Evidence not only is restricted to that discovered on computer systems, but may also apply to proof on electronic devices such as telecommunications or digital multimedia devices.

Digital Evidence can be found in mails, images, ATM transaction information, internet browsing, notes, online messaging history, data saved from accounting systems, spread-sheet applications, internet user history archives, computer storage material, computer archives, computer photocopies, hotel digital door locks, videos or audio files and even tape recordings.[iv] In previous times, it was never understood that tape recorded interactions could potentially play a huge role in presenting valuable evidence in litigation with the rise of technology. As a result, no law was passed as to the validity, existence and evidentiary importance of the discussions or remarks reported in the electro-magnetic apparatus.

However the way of committing crimes has modified over the time, many crimes are committed behind closed doors such as fraud etc. for which it is not an easy task to gather proof. Therefore other techniques are being developed to collect data, such as tape recordings, telephone tapping, etc. As time has elapsed, the courts were constantly bombarded with the issues of the taking of evidence of this sort in the absence of any clear laws and have been examined to establish regulations and procedures for such issues, given their extreme significance in cases particularly in which other types of direct evidence are inadequate.[v]

While in cases where tape recorded conversations were given as evidence before the courts, the admissibility of the same was subjected by various guidelines and requisites as laid down by the court in various cases which are discussed in detail below. Another kind of evidence that has come into light is the sniffer dog or dog tracking evidence and its admissibility in the Indian courts.

The courts have time and again tried to look at this form of evidence and have stated that such evidence cannot be used to convict an accused and even if admissible in the court of law, does not carry enough weight. In this assignment the author has tried to examine the validity of tape recording evidence, its admissibility when recorded illegally, its relation to res gestae and an infringement on the fundamental right to privacy of a person. Additionally, the paper also focuses on the dog tracking evidence, its admissibility and the court�s stand on the same along with expert evidence and its admissibility regarding the same with relevant and recent case laws.

Tape Recordings And Its Relevancy As Evidence Under IEA, 1872

Illegally obtained evidences and its admissibility:
The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, takes great pride by being at a position in being the one statute with the least amount of amendments. It is detailed as well as succinct, and designed by Sir James Stephen with the special diligence. But for their outdated ideals and absence of significance in the modern period, several other statutes and legislations have been under scrutiny.

In the context of illicitly obtained proof by tape-recording, one of these is the Telegraph Act, 1885, and the researcher aims to investigate the interrelationship and the subsequent misunderstanding between these two statutes. There is no opportunity to resolve and tackle the situation arising out from this area in the list of Indian legislation. In several other nations, this issue has been resolved by implementing strict legislation concerned with tape recorded testimony, juxtaposing the interests of the convicted party and the responsibility to community as a whole and making a balance.[vi]

While evidence collected unlawfully has usually been assigned a high standard of proof, the researcher would try to criticize the rather casual translation of this theory into the Indian legal form, in spite of its inherently defective existence.[vii] Per se, accepting unlawfully acquired information does not appear to be in accordance with the evidentiary framework. Yet a trade-off among legality and justice has been made by the courts, which seems to have had little reluctance in considering facts fraudulently acquired. Apprehension was specifically limited to verification tests, not to the conditions during which the evidence was collected.

If there is an uncertainty regarding the relevancy of a fact, under Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, a Judge may raise concerns about the same.[viii] The Apex Court ruled that a new appeal should not be permitted on the grounds of an inappropriate acceptance or denial of evidence, until the Court finds that there has been a serious mistake or failure of evidence in the case.[ix]

If the proof is inadmissible per se and cannot be allowed under any clause of the Indian Evidence Act, the defeat to challenge its acceptance in the Court of Appeal would not make it relevant and admissible and also not prohibit a party opposing to acceptance from addressing the argument in the Appellate Court. It is correct that this is absolutely inside the authority of the Courts to approve or deny a piece of proof. It has total discretion within the issue, but such power is to be appropriately exercised.

There are certain factors to be looked upon before deciding on admissibility of any evidence: [x]

  • Fairness
  • Acceptability of police methods
  • Reliability of the statement or document or material evidence

In this area or subject of illegally obtained evidences, tape recorded evidences and its admissibility have relatively been unnoticed. This is highly critical, since it is a procedure widely being used by police to gather information. It might be for different reasons - to refute a witness, or to confirm the crime, i.e. to demonstrate the fact in question in a court.

It can also be component of what commonly is known to be "wiretapping" or "eavesdropping." There seems not to be a separate remedy for such two approaches in the Indian framework. Its validity is the primary issue correlated with these proofs. There are distinct rules to comply with these two ways of gathering evidence in other nations.

Admissibility of Tape-Recorded evidence:

After Independence, one of the very first instances to address the issue whether the documentation of a conversation that existed on a tape recorder could be accepted within the Indian Evidence Act was Rup Chand v. Mahabir Parshad.[xi] "A sole Punjab High Court judge placed no uncertainty "that the tape cannot be regarded as a piece of writing."[xii] But that did not indicate that documentary proof cannot contain recordings. In reality, the very same judgment indicated that a tape recording of a statement can be created in court and permitted under S.5 of IEA to rebut a witness. It was impliedly, conditional to corroborative checks.[xiii]

With respect to this, one highly essential interpretation was made in the case of Malkani that the Courts should be assured, beyond possible suspicion that the recording was not interfered with. That was remarkable as it is an evidentiary concept which has been articulated in this judgment - there appears to be no justification over such a clause in the Indian Evidence Act. In turn, this will make it more difficult for the party trying to depend on such proof by bringing this under a very serious burden of evidence, because the level and extent of evidence is beyond reasonable doubt.

Within S.3, even from a clear interpretation of the meaning of the term "document" [xiv]found there, a tape recording could be included. It consists of matters defined on the tape by ways of markings being used for recording purposes. This understanding is often used in common law and it has grown to be recognized by Indian courts.

A five-judge panel of the Supreme Court found the matter in S. Pratap Singh v. State of Punjab[xv] and specifically argued that tape recorded conversations are permissible in proof and mere fact that certain evidence could be easily manipulated, which definitely cannot be a basis for denying or refusing to accept such evidence as inadmissible. The transcript of the discussion was accepted as relevant evidence to substantiate the testimony of witnesses who claimed that such a discussion had actually occurred.

By additional recordings, the original tape recorded communication can be quickly discarded and addition could be transposed. Although this aspect will have an impact on the value to be applied to proof but not on its permissibility. Inevitably, if there is a well-founded presumption in a specific case that the tape recording has been manipulated with, as in in Pratap Singh v. State of Punjab,[xvi] it will be a reasonable argument for the courts to dismiss its evidentiary importance entirely.

In the matter of Ram Singh v. Col. Ram Singh, [xvii] the Supreme Court highlighted the preceding criteria for the permissibility of the communication captured on the tape: [xviii]
  • The sound of the speaker should be properly recognized by the person making the recording or by those who understand his sound. Where the creator has refuted the speech, very stringent evidence would be needed to decide whether or not this was the speaker's sound
  • The authenticity of the documented tape statement must be proven explicitly or circumstantially by the creator of the recording by sufficient proof
  • The probability of manipulating or deleting a portion of a documented statement from a tape should be ruled out, or else the recorded statement could be made out of scope and thus impermissible.
  • As per the Evidence Act laws, the statement should be significant.
  • The tape recorded shall be properly secured and held in secure or official possession.
  • The speaker's sound must be easily detectable and any sounds or noises must not be distorted or blurred.

Other important aspects relating to the tape recordings for their admissibility are as follows:

  1. Identification of voice:
    As far as the recognition of the recorded sound is concerned, the correct identification of the recorded voice is a sine qua non for the usage of the taped sound, such that the time, location and reliability of the recording must be determined by the qualified witness and the sounds should be correctly recognized. [xix]
  2. Transcript:
    It is not possible to ignore the significance of providing a transcript of the tape-recorded discussion as it means that the audio had not been later interfered with. The Supreme Court emphasized on the significance and the use of those transcripts in the matter of Ziyauddin Burhanuddin Bukhari v. Brijmohan Ramdas Mehta [xx] and stated the opinion that perhaps the transcript may be used to demonstrate what the transcriptionist had found recorded there at the time of translation, and the proof of the transcript creators is definitely corroborating evidence since it confirms what all the tape record consisted.

    The Apex Court also made it clear that under section 159 of the Evidence Act, these transcripts can be used by a witness to renew his knowledge and that their details can be registered by direct oral evidence in the format provided under section 160 of the Evidence Act.

The material and authenticity of tape recordings: Res Gestae or Hearsay evidence?

In some of the judgments on unlawfully collected evidence, the two principles of material and authenticity of the recordings have inevitably been mistaken. The judgment in Magraj Patodia v. R.K.Birla [xxi] is an exemplary case in point.

The court noted that:
�But the fact that a record was produced through unethical or even illegal means is not a barrier to its validity if it is appropriate and authentic. However the conditions in which it appeared to be presented in court must be kept in mind when reviewing the evidence provided as to its authenticity.�

Authenticity is believed to have more to do with permissibility and material has much to do with appreciation. But the topic of value and competence has not been discussed at all in this situation. Instead, what has been essentially claimed is that evidence of authenticity should be used to render the proof admissible, and the rules of permissibility must assess the evidence of authenticity. There are contradictory declarations.

If the court plays a recording, it is done in order to test both the authenticity and the material. The material is checked at until the court is pleased with the reasonableness of the tape. This appears to be contradictory to the concepts of hearsay, since the point most commonly made when proof of hearsay is raised is that this has not been used for the validity of its content.

This consideration is of utmost importance because the pitch of the voice in the recording can suggest two things to the court:
  • The authenticity, by listening and identifying the voices properly
  • The motive behind the sounds that could lead to an inference and establishment of malafide intention for the offence.[xxii]

Another highly relevant differentiation to be established with regard to tape records is the question of reliability and competency. The Supreme Court discussed this issue in N Sri Rama Reddy v. V V Giri.[xxiii] The Constitution Bench claimed that the technique used to document conversations will make a significant difference to the importance or value attached to that testimony, and not to the competence or validity.

The tape-recorded testimony in this lawsuit has been used to cross-examine a witness. When the tribunal clearly ruled that the tape could be used for the reasons of both substantiation and contradiction, the little residual doubt over whether it can be used to refute the witness was settled. The court followed a previous decision that had the same impact.[xxiv]" Although this problem is not yet entirely settled, as the Apex Court has confirmed in a subsequent judgment that a tape can only be corroborating evidence and not sufficient proof in the lack of any other proof of the interaction."[xxv]

In the case of R.M Malkani v State of Maharashtra [xxvi], the apex court stated that:
�Discussion captured on tape is permissible if the conversation is pertinent on the matters at issue. The identity of the sound and the interpretation of the sound are important by the confirmation of the accuracy of the conversation and by removing the risk of destroying the tape record. The relevant fact is a contemporary tape recording of a specific discussion and is permissible under S.8. It's about Res Gestae. It is also similar to a picture of a relevant event that is significant. Thus the discussion is a relevant fact and is permissible under S.7�

Furthermore, the court also stated that �If a court allows the recording of a tape to be listened over it operates on real proof if the inflection of the terms is regarded as relevant and true. The idea that recorded communication on tape can be modified is also to be taken into account by the court when acknowledging it in testimony.�[xxvii]

The two questions that need to be addressed with this issue are:
  1. What is the position of documenting the tape as real evidence, as compared to documentary evidence?
  2. What is the result of discussing the authenticity of the pitch on the recording of the tape?
Section 91 of the Indian Evidence Act gives sacredness to documented evidence. If the tape is accepted as real evidence, it would not enforce the exclusionary rule of documented evidence. In addition, the hearsay principle, if it is not oral or written proof, is rather circumvented. In addition, if the tape, is to be valued for the pitch, the material authenticity impasse would first have to be addressed. As real facts, rather than as a document, it may be simpler to accept it. In this case, the trick is that it has to classify as res gestae to be accepted as real evidence.

Yusufalli Ismail Nagree v. State of Maharashtra[xxviii] appears to determine the Indian stance on recorded evidence on tape. This lawsuit related to the corroborating evidence of oral evidence by a tape record. This was followed by an approval of the recording procedure[xxix] and is very close to the position taken by certain common law justices.[xxx] Clearly, this would suggest that recorded conversations should be used for their corroborating evidence value only.

This was not, although the only explanation provided by the courts. Tape recordings for their probative, instead of corroborative, purpose also have been rendered admissible. Another critical statement made in the above situation is as follows: "If a statement is relevant, it is also valid and admissible to make an accurate tape recording of the statement"

The theory of hearsay however is, largely unexplained for. It is significant to mention that between an individual who heard the discussion and a tape recording of the same discussion, the amount of proof stays the same. The proof provided by such an individual is obviously hearsay. It has to be omitted, hence. If that is the case, the tape can also not be permissible. It can be admitted only when an exception to the rule of hearsay is created, as was provided for dying declarations and res gestae issues.

The only concern shown by the judiciary in the admission of proof in the manner of tape recordings was the safeguards that have been put as controls on the probative quality of the recordings. The metrics with which the value is determined typically take the form of a confirmation of the time, position and precision of the recording, until it is adduced as proof. A reliable witness must confirm all these attributes and the sounds must be correctly identified.[xxxi]

The Apex Court in Yusufalli acknowledged that the High Court of Bombay mentioned that the proof provided in the format of a tape-recorded discussion was a contemporary conversation between the plaintiff and the individual to whom the bribe was proposed. Under S.8 of the Indian Evidence Act, it was then made permissible as res gestae. The rationale given is as follows: if the proof is substantiated as res gestae, it is an exemption to law of hearsay.

If it is so, as far the conversation continues, or related events, such as planning for the discussion (that was in fact a police trap) would refer - not to a dialogue recording on tape. It is because the recording is just a reflection of the discussion - since this recording alone did not influence the discussion during which the bribe was given, it would not count as a contemporary case there under res gestae.

At the very same period, in Yusufalli the Court claimed that it did not accept the police practice of tapping telephone wires and establishing concealed devices for tape recording objective. In the majority of cases, this does not appear to be compatible with the ready acceptance of proof collected by these methods and techniques. The only possible conclusion is that the court just doesn't want heavy use of these practices. However there appears to be no rationale offered by the courts for such a suggestion, because the proof has nevertheless been accepted, and there is no sign that the judiciary will not continue to do so.

Laws Governing the evidence of Tape Recordings:

The legislation most commonly applied to such situations is the Indian Telegraph Act enacted back in 1885, in the lack of a clear law regulating the problem. The act of destroying or tampering with a telegraph[xxxii] is criminalized by section 25 of the Telegraph Act. The crime involves the act of interfering with a telegraph or the service of a telegraph in order to obtain or become acquainted with the details of any letter.

The pioneering judgment on Section 25 of the Telegraph Act is one made back in 1972 by the Apex Court of India, in which the plaintiff was sentenced of unethical practices by the lower courts in cases of proof which included a registered phone conversation[xxxiii]. "The Information Technology Act, 2000 ("the IT Act") is another legislation that could be applicable to the present debate. The validity of this law to the particular case under consideration seems however, to be very constrained.

Section 65A of IEA[xxxiv] specifies that in complying with the requirements of Section 65B of the Evidence Act, the details of electronic documents can be confirmed. Section 65B, in particular, sets down the evidentiary criteria for digital proof. The Apex Court of India has held that the certification specified under Section 65B(4) is compulsory in order for electronic data (which include tape recording) to be admissible.[xxxv]

Hence as far as a certification complying with the criteria of Section 65B(4) is submitted with a court, tape recording is permissible. Ensuring the authenticity of the data and computer device is the whole concept behind credential; the method of generating the performance of the electronic record, the identification and the specifics of the system used (including the original device). The court requires the certification in order to ensure the credibility of the data and the integrity of the data in order to rely on it.[xxxvi]

The Indian Apex court has ruled, in the case of telephone recordings[xxxvii], that even if a document or tape recording is unlawfully extracted, it would still be permissible as proof, given that it fulfils certain standards of authenticity and significance. Another supreme court's decision subsequently crystallized the aforementioned requirements with regard to the validity of voice recordings.[xxxviii] While this was a judgment rendered by a government official in the form of recording recorded on tape, this is still an expert on the actual conditions whereby a tape recording may be accepted into evidence, the conditions for which have been discussed above.

Taking Voice samples is not a violation of Fundamental rights:

The established rule was that taking audio samples is not in Breach of Art.20(3) of the Indian constitution. The accused would not be secured in order to stop providing voice samples. In Rakesh Bisht v Central Bureau of Investigation [xxxix], the court concluded that it was not in breach of the requirements of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India, 1950, to loan voice samples for the restricted reason of recognition in order to evaluate the same with the tape recorded telephone communication. The learned Justice depended on the Apex court judgment in the matter of the State of Bombay v. Kathi Kalu Oghad[xl], and also the judgment of the High Court of Bombay in the matter of CBI v. Abdul Karim Ladsab Telgi[xli] for this proposition. In the light of these judgments, the learned Special Judge ordered the appeal to be transferred on account of the CBI and instructed the Jail Supervisor to take the audio samples of the accused.

A three-judge bench, headed by Ranjan Gogoi, said it was not the infringement of his fundamental privacy rights and self-incrimination to guide a person to part with his audio sample to the police. The judgement stated that the basic privacy rights cannot be considered absolute and must be bowed down to the convincing public interest". Article 20(3) of the Constitution requires that no accused individual of any crime is obliged to be a witness toward oneself.' In attempt to see whether they replicated and were from the same individual, CJI rationalized that an audio sample was provided for comparing with other sounds. On its own, an audio specimen is not inculpatory information.

Prabeen Kumar vs The State Of Bihar [xlii] (18 July 2017)

Facts: As a CBI inspector posted in Patna, the appellant Prabeen Kumar was charged with investigating the accusation that H.N. was attributed to him. Singh, a UCO Bank Branch Manager. Upon receipt of the complaint, instead of inquiring into the matter, Prabeen Kumar approached Singh over the telephone and addressed himself to another discloser that he was entrusted with an investigation against him relating to the advancement of the loan in an unlawful manner and thus instructed him to negotiate for proper resolution.

After being anxious of a CBI official's strange behavior, he grew skeptical as someone else could be impersonated and so he took a tape recorder, audio cassette to document the accused's speech and visited Prabeen with all those devices. It was also revealed that Prabeen Kumar requested Rs. 3 Lacs to report in his favor during the discussion, which was eventually settled at Rs. 2 Lacs.

Due to the reason that H.N. Singh was not willing to pay Rs. 2 Lacs as bribery and further contacted the head office of the New Delhi CBI office on the phone and revealed the entire event at the request of Prabeen Kumar as well as the order for bribe. After providing the details, H.N. In the midst of independent witnesses, Singh dialed Prabeen and the interaction that was captured by VPS Mann took place in order to detain Prabeen Kumar red handed while taking bribe and to allow the same, zero FIR was reported.

Court�s Ruling: Having shed light on various landmark judgments it is evident that a valuable comment made by an individual and captured on tape could be used not only to substantiate the evidence offered by the witness in the Court, but also to refute the evidence submitted before the Court, and to also check the witness's validity and to indict his impartiality. Aside from being used for corroborating evidence, the testimony is permissible under Section 146, Exception 2 to Section 153 and Section 155 of the Evidence Act. Moreover the facts and circumstances of the current context do not constitute a breach of Section 25 of the Telegraph Act. There is a provision for the principle that it is permissible even though proof is unlawfully acquired.

There is no ground to argue that the plaintiff was induced to self-incriminate. No lawsuit was brought against plaintiff at the point of the discussion. He was not being coerced to speak or to admit. Article 21 was cited by claiming that the protection of the interaction between the plaintiff and the appellant was violated. By tapping the communication, the telephone conversation of an innocent person would be secured by the judiciary from malicious or high-handed intervention.

Security is not for the accused person from the police's attempts to legitimize the law and discourage the misconduct of public officials. It must not be recognized that protections for the safety of civilians by enabling the authorities to continue by unauthorized or illegitimate means would be accepted by the judiciary. There is no illegal or improper means of making a tape recording of the discussion in the current context.

Not always has the interaction between law and technology been a simple one. However if it was considered appropriate, the rule was still in favour of technology. From period to period, the legal courts' question about the usefulness and permissibility of tape recorded conversation found its expression in different pronouncements.

Tape-recorded interactions as shreds of information have arisen as one of the productive and effective changes that have occurred in today's environment, with the rise of digital. In trying to adapt with the rise in atrocities being committed nowadays, it is important to keep up-to-date with the newly advanced techniques and to make every effort to consider information that is significant and that might have been gathered by the use of such innovation. There is no doubt as to the fact that certain types of proof are more likely to be tampered with.

The situation can be adapted to the current technical situation and the need of the hour is to limit violence, by allowing tape recordings to be used. But this, permission, in the context of suitable legislation, has to be clear.

A choice might be to add further variations to the law of hearsay in the Indian Evidence Act itself that would suit the circumstance within the scenario, and system of law. The explanation given is that innovation should be used wisely to arrest criminality, rather than fully shut it out, rendering it far more challenging for law enforcement. There must be some sort of give and receive and it is very difficult to have a perfect situation.

  1. Law of Evidence: An Overview On Different kinds of Evidence and Witnesses under the Indian Evidence Act, IndiaLegallive, last accessed on 3rd November 2020.
    [ii] Section 3, Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  2. Vivek Dubey, Admissibility of electronic evidence: an Indian perspective, MedCrave, <> last accessed on 4th November 2020
  3. Ibid.
  4. Rahul Gupta, The Evolution of Admissibility of Tape Recorded Statements As Evidence, LegalServicesIndia, last accessed on 4th November, 2020
  5. Some examples are the Wiretapping and Eavesdropping Act, sections 16-15-101 through 16- 15-104, 6 C.R.S. (1998), and the Criminal Eavesdropping Statute, sections 18-9-303 and 18-9- 304, 6 C.R.S. (1998), which are both laws in the State of Colorado, USA.
  6. It matters not how you get it if you steal it even, it would be admissible in evidence." R. v. Leatham, (1861) 8 Cox. C.C. 198, cited from R. M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1973 SC 157 at 163
  7. Sir John Woodroffe and Syed Amir Ali, Law of Evidence, 3805 (1996)
  8. Order XXXIX, R.6, Supreme Court Rules
  9. David H. Sheldon, Evidence: Cases and Materials, 333 (1996)
  10. AIR 1956 Punj 173
  11. The record of a conversation appearing on a tape recorder can by no stretch of meaning [be considered] as a statement "in writing or reduced into writing". Per Bhandari, C.J. in Rup Chand v. Mahabir Parshad, AIR 1956 Punj 173. The reasoning given was that it was not included within S.3(65) of the General Clauses Act, 1897
  12. In S. Partap Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1964 SC 72, the Court ruled that the possibility that a piece of evidence could be tampered with, was not by itself a ground for the court to reject the evidence as inadmissible. This shows that the standard of proof to show that the tape has been tampered with is considerably higher than that advocated in Malkani
  13. Document" means any matter expressed or described upon any substance, by means of letters, figures, or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter. - S.3, Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  14. AIR 1964 SC 72
  15. Ibid
  16. AIR 1986 SC 3
  17. Vidhan Maheshwari, Tape Recorded Conversation - Admissibility, Nature and Value, last accessed on 5th November 2020
  18. AIR 1968 SC 147
  19. AIR 1975 SC 1788
  20. AIR 1971 SC 1297.
  21. Jagir Singh v. Jasdev Singh, AIR 1975 SC 1627. In this case, the argument advanced by the prosecution was that the accused tried to show false surprise that his signature was on a document which would incriminate him of offences under S. 123(3), S.1 23(3A) and S.127 A of the Representation of the People Act. But the tape-recorded evidence of a telephonic conversation was rejected, because the other participant in the conversation was not examined as a witness. This shows that the courts have been more conducive to admitting tape-recorded conversations as corroborative evidence than primary evidence.
  22. AIR 1971 SC 1162
  23. Manindra Nath v. Biswanath, (1963) 67 Cal WN 191
  24. Mahabir Prasad Verma v. Dr Surinder Kaur, AIR 1982 SC 1043
  25. AIR 1973 SC 157
  26. AIR 1973 SC 157
  27. AIR 1968 SC 147
  28. The tape record of the dialogue corroborates his testimony. The process of the tape recording offers an accurate method of storing and later reproducing sounds. The imprint on the magnetic tape is the direct effect of the relevant sounds. Like a photograph of a relevant incident, a contemporaneous tape record of a relevant conversation is a relevant fact and is admissible under S.7 of the Indian Evidence Act." Per Hidayatullah, J. in Yusufalli Ismail Nagree v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1968 SC 147
  29. The photograph was admissible because it is only a visible interpretation of the image or impression made upon the minds of the witnesses by the sight of the person or the object it represents; and it is therefore in reality only another species of the evidence which persons give of identity when they speak merely from memory" Per Willes, J. in R. v. Tolson, [1864 4 F. and F. 103, cited from, Phipson on Evidence. The same approach has been adopted in relation to tape recordings, as held in R. v. Ali and Hussain, [1966] 1 QB 688 (CCA).
  30. AIR 1968 SC 147
  31. Section 25, Indian Telegraph Act, 1885
  32. R. M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra, (1973) 1 SCC 471
  33. S 65, Indian evidence act, 1872
  34. Anvar P.V. v. P.K. Basheer, (2014) 10 SCC 473
  35. Bharat Chugh, Phone-tapping and Recording of a Phone conversation: Is it legal and admissible? ,, last accessed on 5th November 2020
  36. R. M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra, (1973) 1 SCC 471
  37. Ram Singh v. Col. Ram Singh, 1985 Supp SCC 611
  38. Rakesh Bisht v Central Bureau of Investigation ,2007 Indlaw DEL 1811, (2007)
  39. State of Bombay v Kathi Kalu Oghad and Others, 1961Indlaw SC 144, (1961)
  40. Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi v Abdul Karim Ladsab Telgi and Others, 2004 Indlaw MUM 319, (2004)
  41. Prabeen Kumar vs The State Of Bihar , Criminal Appeal (SJ) No.181 of 2015

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