The concept of “electronic evidence” has been introduced through the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“IT Act”) and the related amendments in the Evidence Act, 1872 (“Evidence Act”) and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”).
The Evidence Act was amended by virtue of Section 92 of the IT Act and the term “evidence” was amended to include “electronic record”, thereby allowing for admissibility of the digital evidence.
Section 65A of the Evidence Act provides that the contents of electronic records may be proved in accordance with the provisions of Section 65B of the Evidence Act.
Thus, any documentary evidence by way of an electronic record can be proved only in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Section 65B of the Evidence Act.
Section 65B of the Evidence Act provides for both technical conditions and non-technical grounds for admissibility of electronic evidence.
Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act provides for the non-technical conditions being the requirement of a certificate of authenticity. The purpose of the certificate is to satisfy the conditions laid out by the preceding sub-section (2) of Section 65B of the Evidence Act.
This ceritficate ensures that the evidence submitted in the court is authentic and has been acquired truthfully.
The certificate is to be executed/signed by a person occupying a responsible position in relation to the device through which the data has been produced.
Reference: Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act, 1872,
Case Law: Anvar P.V. v. P.K. Basheer And Others (2014 10 SCC 473)