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Tapped conversation valid evidence: HC

The Delhi High Court has said that law enforcement agencies have every right to intercept telephonic calls of a suspect in a case and use it as evidence against him in a court.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2012 00:04 IST
Harish V Nair

The Delhi High Court has said that law enforcement agencies have every right to intercept telephonic calls of a suspect in a case and use it as evidence against him in a court.

A bench of justices BD Ahmed and Veena Birbal rejected a plea to declare as "unconstitutional and illegal" a rule in the Indian Telegraph Act that empowered tapping of phones of suspects in a criminal case.

The court said the evidence will be admissible even if the provisions of the rule were not completely complied with.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Dharambir Khattar, an alleged middleman in the 2003 DDA land scam. He is facing trial in the case.

He challenged the seven call interception orders, contending they were an invasion into his privacy and fundamental rights. Dismissing his petition,
the court gave the prosecution the go-ahead to use as evidence the incriminating material collected after the phone is tapped.

"A contemporaneous tape record of a relevant conversation was a relevant fact and was admissible,” the bench said.

The court rejected the argument of Khattar's lawyer that the particular rule could be invoked only on the occurrence of any 'public emergency' or in the interest of 'public safety'.