Illegally Obtained Phone Conversations Can Be Used As Evidence: Allahabad HC


The Allahabad High Court has underscored that a phone conversation between two accused individuals cannot be dismissed as evidence solely due to its alleged illegal acquisition. This position was reaffirmed by Justice Subhash Vidyarthi, who upheld a trial court's decision to proceed with the case against an accused involved in a bribery matter based on a recorded phone conversation.

The accused had contested the admissibility of the phone conversation, arguing that it had been obtained illegally. However, the Court rejected this argument, emphasizing that the legality of acquisition does not impede the evidence's admissibility.

Justice Vidyarthi also addressed contrary judgments from the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh High Courts, noting that they overlooked the legal principles laid out by the Supreme Court in the 2001 case of State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot Sandhu, where relevance stands as the primary test for evidence admissibility in India.

The Court's stance was clarified in the context of a criminal revision plea filed by Mahant Prasad Ram Tripathi, a former CEO of a Cantonment Board accused of corruption. The conversation in question was between Tripathi and a co-accused, which had been recorded by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The co-accused informed Tripathi about a payment, to which Tripathi responded affirmatively. The Court concluded that this conversation did not qualify as an interception, allowing its use as evidence.

In light of the broader evidence presented against the accused, including the recorded conversation, the Court upheld the trial court's decision and dismissed the revision application.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University