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Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     03 February 2011

69-year-old man can use taped talk against wife: HC

69-year-old man can use taped talk against wife: HC

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has allowed a 69-year-old man caught in a divorce battle to use taped telephone conversations to confront his wife of 20 years.

Meher Mistry (49), a resident of Malabar Hill, had opposed her husband Navroze Mistry's application to produce a CD of the recorded conversations, where she apparently asks him to leave her father's house. Justice Roshan Dalvi allowed Mistry to use the conversation when cross-examining Meher.

"Truth has to emerge from the evidence on record. The skill of the cross-examiner brings forth the hitherto unknown truth on record. It would be a farce to notify the party who is being cross-examined of the questions that may be asked by the cross-examiner," said the judge, adding, "In the cross-examination of a party any document can be produced and the witness under cross examination can be confronted (with it)."

Meher, who runs a catering service, had moved the high court in 2008 seeking divorce from Mistry, her husband of 20 years, on grounds of cruelty. Parsi matrimony cases are heard in the HC and not in the family court. The couple has two children.

Mistry, now based in Pune, in turn levelled allegations against his wife, and sought to confront her with her personal diary and the telephone conversations during the cross-examination

Meher's lawyers Narayan Suvarna and Ansuya Dutt objected saying that Mistry had not notified them earlier or mentioned the CD in the list of documents that he was going to rely on. The lawyers argued that Mistry could have recorded it on a tape recorder, audio cassette, MP-3 player, Dictaphone, computer or even on his mobile phone, but the original recording was not produced. Advocate Taubon Irani, Mistry's counsel, said an application had already been made for verifying Meher's voice.

The court did not agree with Meher's lawyers that the CD's contents and transcriptt could not be used during the cross-examination. The HC referred to the Civil Procedure Code that allows a party to produce documents for the first time during cross examination.

The court further said that the stage of verifying the authenticity of the tapes would come later. Citing Supreme Court judgments, the HC said that the tapes would have to pass three tests—relevance, identification of the voice, and accuracy of the taped conversation. Since the content of the tapes reportedly comprise of Meher asking Mistry to leave her father's house, the court said that it was relevant to the divorce proceedings. The question of identification of the voice would arise if Meher denied that it is her voice. Mistry could then identity the voice himself or through witnesses or as a last resort seek the opinion of a forensic expert. To prove the accuracy of the conversations, Mistry would have to produce the original recordings, said the HC. "If the tests are not passed, the tape recorded conversation would be of no use ultimately,'' observed the judge.

Meher's lawyers then raised doubts on the authenticity of the CD claiming it was not sealed, but the court declined to accept this. The judge said that the requirement of sealing would be applicable only in a criminal case where the investigation officer seals the intercepted conversations. "When the defendant himself has recorded the conversation of the plaintiff as a party in a civil suit (and) is required to keep custody of his own documents, there is no question of the requirement of sealing. It has nevertheless to be shown to be accurate and untampered with,'' said the judge.

(Names of the couple have been changed to protect their identity)

In the divorce case filed by Meher Mistry (49) against her husband Navroze (69) in the High Court, Navroze had sought to produce a CD of their conversations where she had reportedly asked him to leave her father's house


 14 Replies



Don’t try to tape a phone calls as ,Govt warns on illegal phone tapping The act says only the government may tap phones in the interest of national security but for others it carries a punishment of up to three years in prison with a fine of Rs 1,000.


“Such type of acts violate the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and persons or companies involved in such types of acts are liable to punishment,” it added.




1 Like

Ambika (NA)     03 February 2011

But court may say it is relevant to divorce proceeding...LOL

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     03 February 2011

u can tape ur phone , not others. its fully legal kushan ji.

Ambika (NA)     03 February 2011

avnish has a point here...



u can tape ur phone , not others. its fully legal kushan ji.

But telephoning conversation is between two person ,first ours and second other person,so if we can tap our phone is it legal or not?


It is legal to record a conversation if you include a beep on the recorder and for the parties to hear.

AND MOST IMPORTANT;Nothing is illegal until you get caught;)

Vijayendra Navale (Advocacy )     03 February 2011

Hi, I need citations with respect to conversation in phone..Means husband has got a recorded conversation between his wife and a man, in her phone's memory....I have filed a vakalatha for husband. .A  Divorce case is going on in FC. I have taken my defense that she is living in Adultery....If anybody had citation on this point means paste it. Thanks. 

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     04 February 2011

kushan ji govt order refers to spy tapping , or third party tapping requiring a beep. its fully legal tp tap ur conversation.there are suitcase size  devices which can record all cell phone conversation in a city.

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     04 February 2011

Such trademark Judgment(s) can only be passed by a ‘divorcee’ Ladyship in favor of Indian Husband(s) and she has already passed exactly one and half a dozen such once specific to Maharashtra circle usage.

So now it is confirmed that we have female equivalent of
Delhi's Jstc Dhingra in Mumbai HC. Gr8 posting sans full text K

PS.: Under Family Law all types of evidences are admissible Mr. Kushan Vyas.

2 Like

Jamai Of Law (propra)     04 February 2011

Phone recording is different than tapping. Phone recording is allowed.

Ambika (NA)     04 February 2011

Without telling the intention and remaining warm( as advised by one of the respectable members on the forum) while fostering the plans of divorce in mind, one spouse lures the other one into talking something, which may be adverse to the other spouse and records the conversation. 

Isn't it a deception? How the phone conversation be taken at its face value? 

Ambika (NA)     04 February 2011

I am not talking about now of the case Avnish has posted...so please do not jump to conclusion that I am against the old man who was reportedly forced to leave the house by his wife...

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     04 February 2011

in some cases supreme court and delhi HC welcomed the use of phone recordings , as these can to great extent clarify whose line of story is true.

in some cases threatening calls by female side led to dismissal of 498a and dowry complaints against husband/his family.

phone tapping is a very different thing than recording calls on ur phone.

third party tapping is illegal , agreed.

if investigative agencies are tapping then beep is required.

in IRAQ war USA drooped a suitcase size device in baghdad to record all telecommunications within the city.

similar devices are easily availiable in market which can record cell phones in vicinity, so be careful :) .

Ambika (NA)     05 February 2011

A warring couple would soon stop using phones...what a life!

Silence is the best virtue ....

Technology induced disasters!! 

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