EXAMINER OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE
Section 79A IT Act
79A. Central Government to notify Examiner of Electronic Evidence- The Central Government may, for the purposes of providing expert opinion on electronic form evidence before any court or other authority specify, by notification in the Official Gazette, any Department, body or agency of the Central Government or a State Government as an Examiner of Electronic Evidence.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “electronic form evidence” means any information of probative value that is either stored or transmitted in electronic form and includes computer evidence, digital audio, digital video, cell phones, digital fax machines.
The legislature felt that there should be specialized department, body or agency of the government (central or state) to provide expert opinion on electronic form evidence before any court or other authority.
This Section of the IT Act has enlarged the scope of Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act which reads as under:
Section 45 Evidence Act Opinions of experts - When the Court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of science, or art, or as to identity of hand writing or finger-impressions, the opinions upon that point of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, science or art, or in questions as to identity of handwriting or finger impressions, are relevant facts. Such person called experts.
Thus, any expert opinion given on “electronic form evidence” will be a relevant fact under the Indian Evidence Act. Further, it is important to note a newly inserted section 45A in the Indian Evidence Act which reads as under:
Section 45A Evidence Act Opinion of Examiner of Electronic Evidence- When in a proceeding, the court has to form an opinion on any matter relating to any information transmitted or stored in any computer resource or any other electronic or digital form, the opinion of the Examiner of Electronic Evidence referred to in section 79A of the Information Technology Act, 2000(21 of 2000)., is a relevant fact.
Explanation.--For the purposes of this section, an Examiner of Electronic Evidence shall be an expert.
Recently, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in CS(OS) 218/2008) vide its order dt. 21.10.2008 opined that, “Looking at the nature of controversy, I feel that expert opinion is required. NASSCOM is requested to appoint an expert to look into the data furnished by the defendants in support of the contention that the plaintiff may be indulging in spamming.”