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Rahul Goyal   28 April 2023

Insoection of documents kept in court file in sealed cover

This is a case of forgery, tampering of judicial records wherein some reports under sealed envelope were changed in trial court records. Has been done in collusion of court staff. Applied for inspection of reports so as to verify the actual signatures, and also forensic examination of the reports. Court denied. Isn't that strange? Court asks for law/ rules/ judgements that evidence that sealed cover reports must be shown.

Ironically some extracts of that report relied upon in judgment but court not allowing inspection of actual report. Suggest legal remedy.

Which rules of inspection permit inspection of sealed cover papers? Any judgments to that effect? 



Learning

 5 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     28 April 2023

How did you come to know that the some reports kept in the sealed cover have been changed/

your allegations like foregery or tampering the evidence need to be proved.

Sealed Cover Jurisprudence (SCJ) is a legal concept that refers to the practice of presenting sensitive or confidential information to a court or tribunal in a sealed envelope or cover, to be opened and reviewed only by the judge or judges in charge of the case.

  • Rule 7 of order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules:
    • If the Chief Justice or the Court directs certain information to be kept under sealed cover or considers it of confidential nature, no party would be allowed access to the contents of such information, except if the Chief Justice himself orders that the opposite party be allowed to access it.
    • The information can be kept confidential if its publication is not considered to be in the interest of the public.
  • Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872:
    • Official unpublished documents relating to state affairs are protected and a public officer cannot be compelled to disclose such documents.
    • Other instances where information may be sought in secrecy or confidence are when its publication impedes an ongoing investigation, such as details which are part of a police case diary.
  • Therefore you cannot compel the judge to permit you to inspect the sealed cover. 

P. Venu (Advocate)     28 April 2023

The facts, as posted, lack clarity. Please post simple but precise facts.

Rahul Goyal   28 April 2023

The report has been changed in Trial Court. It is not a govt. matter but a custody matter. Not anything of public information. The party to the dispute is entitled to the documents which have been relied upon in judgment. There are directions of Supreme Court that even mediation report in custody matters must be disclosed. Sealed cover jurisprudence has been condemned by Supreme Court in several judgments.

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     29 April 2023

I fully agree and appreciate considered opinion and advise of learned expert Mr T Kalaiselvan.

Unbeleivable facts.

Rahul Goyal   06 May 2023

Unbelievable ? Yes its not normal. But has happened. Those who did it knew that no one will doubt the report within sealed envelope. A lot happens in courts. Whoever has seen the report vs order sheet acknowledge that they are not from same court. Difference in font, margins, spacing. Very few lawyers have the guts to fight against corruption in courts.



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