Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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karthik (divorce applicant)     01 September 2014

Email as evidence


I have some outlook Email proofs to show in court during my 498a case evidence, i would like to know how to certify my email from concerned department to show it as proof.

i learned from section 65b electronic copy need to be certified first before submitting in criminal cases so who usually do this certification.

i have backup of my outlook emails in .pst format so do soft copies are mandatory  for this?

please anyone who have done this or submitted emails in 498a case. guide me.





 7 Replies

FightForCause (Businessman)     01 September 2014

Hi Karthik,

Plz let me know too, once you get the answer to ur query....i am also in same boat...and looking for answer eagerly

Ashok, Advocate (Lawyer at Delhi)     01 September 2014

Firstly, sub-section (4) of Section 65B of the Evidence Act shows that the certificate is required “to be signed by a person occupying a responsible official position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the management of the relevant activities”. This implies that a responsible person who was operating that computer device etc. may be in a position to give such certificate. The section does not make it clear as to what will happen if the device was operated by a private individual himself; perhaps it appears that the said individual himself would then be the “person occupying a responsible official position” in respect of that device. This is what it appears to me, though it is only an opinion. I don’t think there is any authentic ruling on that.


Secondly, sub-section (1) of the said section shows that an electronic record can be “which is printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer”. Thus, it appears that a print-out of the information may be sufficient. Likewise, a soft-copy stored in any optical or magnetic media (such as CD or DVD) may also be sufficient. Again, this is what is my opinion, though again there does not appear to be any authentic ruling on this aspect.



What is mentioned above is only my personal considered opinion as an advocate of a humble background with a limited knowledge. I hope this opinion is correct, but cannot guarantee, since ultimately the courts have to decide about the correct interpretation of law. But, one thing can definitely be said: the section is not happily worded.

karthik (divorce applicant)     01 September 2014

Thanks Ashok Sir for the info i too read the info but it is not much clear for me as the  mail id which i used was from a soffware firm, which is highly confidential and they wont give any certificate of the genunity, only persons who has submitted evidence in the form of hard copy/soft copy or advocates who did this can throw some light on my query..

in the same section i heard like for civil case email authenctication is not needed but for criminal cased email need to be certified by police or someone else :(

LoneFighter (IT)     02 September 2014

As far as i understood from the above discussion, i feel, if email == device which can be conveyed by above 65b statement. It can very well be accepted as evidence. Email can rarely be sent by other individuals, because its password protected. 

Submitting a print out on a piece of paper, i guess that could be ruled out , since photoshopping can produce zillion copies of any kind of email or chat or anything. 

But again, i have this doubt, if its a conversation, then probably just a single email do not make much sense, because one has to go through other previous emails to know what has exactly being conveyed in this email does make some sense. in this case, you might have to prove that the whole conversation is intact without a single message being deleted. 

Having said all the above, law assumes that the email has been sent from your email address, thats it, the owner can very well claim that the email is not sent by him. But he has to prove his argument, in many cases its difficult to prove it because there would be so many mails sent along with aforementioned evidence. 

Srinivas (.)     02 September 2014

Hi,Who has to prove this emails ? Receiver or sender ? Please advise...................

LoneFighter (IT)     02 September 2014

Section 102 in The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
102. On whom burden of proof lies.—The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side. tc "102. On whom burden of proof lies.—The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side." Illustrations
(a) A sues B for land of which B is in possession, and which, as A asserts, was left to A by the will of C, B’s father. If no evidence were given on either side, B would be entitled to retain his possession. Therefore the burden of proof is on A.
(b) A sues B for money due on a bond. The execution of the bond is admitted, but B says that it was obtained by fraud, which A denies. If no evidence were given on either side, A would succeed, as the bond is not disputed and the fraud is not proved. Therefore the burden of proof is on B.
Onus of proof as far as i understood is based on the one who makes a statement or who shows the evidence. 
Like in case of email--
A says B has received a email from A. 
B has to prove its A's email address. 
If A says He did not send the email, probably A has to prove that.. <dnt know how do someone do that.>
PS: I m no lawyer. Just trying to help. 

karthik (divorce applicant)     02 September 2014

in my case i have proof like first my ex sent a mail to my office email address, i replied to her mail and she replied to that same mail thread like wise i have few mails which we both communicated over office email id's on different topics, i feel some emails are useful for me as a proof to be submitted in court as evidence.

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