Are emails and sms messages acceptable to court as evidence?


In a recent divorce court session, the judge told the petitioner's lawyer that he has not heard of emails or sms messages being acceptable to court as evidence and he asked the lawyer for references to quote the same.

I really wanna know if emails and sms messages acceptable to court as evidence.....?

 
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PM

Refer THE FAMILY COURTS ACT, 1984, (No.66 of 1984) Clause 14 as stated below,

 

14. Application of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.-A Family Court may receive as evidence any report, statement, documents, information or matter that may, in its opinion. assist it to deal effectually with a dispute, whether or not the same would be otherwise relevant or admissible under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872).

 
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the email evidence is accepted in every courts of india as it is a document which is accepted because in information tecnology everyoffice provides letter only through email and those document with date and time and to whom it has sent details will be there 

 
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Can someone let me know on the following:

1. Will printouts of SMS and email be sufficient to be produced?

2. SHould the above also be provided on SD card/ chip to the Family Court?

 I have the SMS's and emails in soft form as well.

Thanks.

 

 
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Sales Executive

 

This is interesting to know as India is the 5rd largest country for internet users today. I believe that any judge saying that he has never heard of emails and sms as evidence, doesn't deserve to be a judge make judgements at all.

Also, the Application of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, as posted by Alwin above doesn't clearly mention evidence in form of 'text' contained within emails, chats, sms whatsoever.


Any expertise on this will be highly appreciated.

Thanks

 
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manager

SMS or email on plain sheet, is difficult to prove.

 
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PM

@Naveen,

 

It will be accepted and marked . Only thing, advocate has to convince the judge how relevant these are to the case.

The law says, even if it is not admissible as per Indian evidence act, A family court can accept it as an evidence .  its very clear

 
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Alwin thanks...is there a clause in Family Court that allows the print out of the SMS/Emails?

 
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manager

No. SMS are very difficult to prove. Say you will take print out of sms mentioning that she/he sent on so and so time and date.

Questions:

what is the gaurantee that it was sent to you on said so and so date and time?

In such case anyone can tell/create that it was sent. SMS though genuine, put on plain paper can never be proved. It is common sense. Even messages on phone can be proved false easily, as these days, it is easy to modify the messages with the help of any editors.

Only genuine message (correct in number and content) obtained from service provider upon notice from court and approved by forensic will hold good and easy to prove. Rest all cases, it is difficult to prove and get challenged easily by opposite party.

FYI, I contacted some detective agenices for extracting the smses with contents some time back. They didnot get me the contents of smses even for a day old messages.

 
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manager

also ensure, if opposite party claims they have taken from service provider, to  take reference number the service provider used to provide the sms contents. Without reference number, it is difficult to say, the said person has taken it from service provider only.

 
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