IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE LAW OF EVIDENCE
With the introduction of the electronic era, there has been a requirement for the incorporation of electronic evidence in judicial judgment making. In this modern era of social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc, there are various moments where various offenses are commissioned through these social media. And in such a situation, the details in social media are the key evidence that changes the direction of a decision.
Police officers and investigating agencies in the current time have found messages that are posted by individuals on Twitter Facebook and other social media platforms as primary pieces of evidence. These pieces of evidence come under the purpose of the Indian Evidence Act. In 2016, during a press meet, the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Sigh, admitted that the Indian government has created a blueprint on social media so they can easily monitor the IS terrorist organizations about the unfound side of the www which is more often called as Dark Web. This dark web comes in the sphere of cyberspace which is a medium of communication that connects the globe through the internet.
Evidentiary value of social Media Evidence
The evidence of social media is one kind of digital evidence. When the majority of people assume social media as a mobile application such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, etc, the fact is it assimilates a much broader scope than these applications. There are links and websites which are utilized to connect with people around the world and are no less than a social media platform, and various kinds of online crime and fraud are commissioned on a general basis.
Under section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, electronic evidence is admissible to be present as evidence. These kinds of evidence are known as documentary evidence. But the sad truth about social media is that it is efficiently changeable, duplicable but at the same time, some social media platforms are more viable and difficult to destruct the content and easily available. Thus, there is a requirement for the court to check the authenticity of the e-evidence such as social media. So, the courts of justice must verify its relevance, authenticity, validity before its admissible as evidence because it may be used against an innocent person.
Admissibility of digital evidence in Indian Courts
The Indian courts have acknowledged that social media are the primary evidence in the court. It's not only in India rather various other countries have also accepted the usage of electronic evidence in their courts to see its prominence to establish a fair trial.
There are few provisions in the Indian Evidence act such as section 3 which takes a note of the admission of electronic evidence. In some parts of the provisions, it read as all documents given including the electronic records which are found brought for inspection in the court, such documents are known as documentary evidence.
Another provision such as section 65A and section 65B in the act, has also been passed by an amendment under the IT Act, 2000
Section 65A states that there are special provisions to admit evidence in regard to electronic records. The contents of such electronic records shall be provided as per the criteria given in section 65B.
While section 65B of the act determines the criteria of admission of the digital records in the Indian Courts. This provision sets down particular criteria for the relevance of the electronic records, which is needed to be fulfilled.
The conditions are:
During the formation of an e-record, the computer included relevant information in the computer's output which has relevant information that was brought from the computer that was used. It is important to note that this information is stored or processed information that is particularly carried over for a substantial time period which was through the lawful usage of a computer.
The information that is given in the manner of the electronic record and is used in the general course of using the computer.
The information that is given in the form of an electronic record is a copy of the actual electronic record.
During the necessary part of the period, and when the computer is working normally, or even if it is not working properly, the computer will stop working for a period of time, but the e-records will not be influenced.
Moreover, Section 22 of the “Indian Evidence Act” which become inserted through manner of the amendment, clarifies that once verbal popularity of the content material of digital statistics is beneficial and may be admitted, this is, except the authenticity of the digital statistics generated is questionable, verbal popularity of the content material of digital statistics it isn't related. And the trouble takes place whilst the social media groups aren't cooperating in courtroom docket complaints as they want to breach the patron commitments. In many cases, folks that publish on social media systems which include Facebook or different systems publish through themselves, so there are only a few problems. The trouble is whilst the organization has to offer to get entry to to the consumer records in order that the celebration can show their case and that it is able to perceive the accused/felon. Social media programs which include Facebook aren't an Indian organization and so are numerous different social media systems, for this reason, getting facts from Facebook representatives handy over such facts is verified to be very difficult.
Pieces of proof from the social media posts may be of important significance and whilst we mirror at the motive that such social media posts could have in a civil or crook case it's far incomprehensible. social media posts which have been formerly used as we've visible earlier than that if such publication may be used to fulfil a person`s declare withinside the courtroom docket of law, which in reality may be very difficult to show. It is pertinent that such social evidence is comforting that greater than enough proof is offered to confess and help the e-book of the declare this is made at the simple rule of acceptability of any proof in question. However, whether or not such proof is applicable in a selected case, and if that unique precept is carried out to that case in which such social media publish or proof is involved, admissibility of such proof will not be a difficulty in a courtroom docket of law.
Written by Parul Sharma
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