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MrDinoMorea (O)     17 July 2013

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.....?



 17 Replies

Alwin (PM)     18 July 2013

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).

Adv k . mahesh (advocate)     18 July 2013

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 

Sunil Patil (Engg)     02 September 2013

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.

 

Naveen Amin (Sales Executive)     02 September 2013

 

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

Vivek (manager)     02 September 2013

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

Alwin (PM)     02 September 2013

@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

Sunil Patil (Engg)     02 September 2013

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

Vivek (manager)     03 September 2013

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.

Vivek (manager)     03 September 2013

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.

Sam (NA)     03 September 2013

Dear Friend,

Email print outs will have website address at its footer, So it is acceptable evidence, But the opponents may contest that the e-mail account does not belong to him/her. If its from any software or Organisation its easy to get attested. But other sites (yahoo, Gmail) not sure how to take stand on this...

Experts correct me if I am wrong.

Naveen Amin (Sales Executive)     04 September 2013

Yes, Sam is right. The opposite person may easily claim that the email account in question doesnt' belong to him/her. Anybody from cyber crime/cyber laws throw some light here?

thanks

Alwin (PM)     04 September 2013

As per Amendments to Indian Evidence Act for production of any electronic record/message etc. in any court proceedings, one must obtain a certificate from Cyber Forensics Labs related to the authenticity of electronic records. But as per the Family Court Act, Clause 14, a judge is empowered to accept an electronic record as evidence which any other court may reject due to non admissibility as per evidence act and its amendments. Opponents can contest but it will get marked with objection. Its totally depend on the family court judge’s decision. 

Vivek (manager)     04 September 2013

Then Once can produce any messages as sent by your opponent, by creating their own....

Shiva......... (owner)     05 September 2013

I am in a similar situation with e mails and SMS's.

I am Planning to submit the cell phone to the judge and show him messages directly and Showing e mail inbox directly in front of judge on a laptop. If judge is not convinced or if opponents raise objection, then we can ask the judge to send it for forensic or cyber investigations whichever is better to prove authenticity.

This is my plan of action in my case. I am not sure if it works out or not. Just a thought.


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