Technological advances have impacted the way evidence is generated and collected. Digital evidence collection requires techno legal skills and highly skill oriented approach. If digital evidence is not collected properly, it may be inadmissible in a court of law. Thus, India needs to strengthen cyber forensics and cyber crimes investigation capabilities. This fact is well articulated in the cyber forensics trends and development of India 2013 (PDF).
For long a need has been felt that India must invest in scientific and technological investigation methodologies. Despite many attempts the same has not been achieved till now. We have many good cyber crime cells in India and we have few cyber forensics laboratories as well. However, in the absence of adequate financing and staffing, they all are overburdened and digital evidence is not made available on time and when required.
Law enforcement agencies of India are regularly seizing computers, laptops and other digital media and are sending them to cyber forensics laboratories. However, the backlog of such cases has increased tremendously and the cyber forensics laboratories are finding it difficult to provide the digital evidence on time. This is also impacting the judicial proceeding sin India as the truth of allegations cannot be ascertained till the forensic laboratory provides its report.
In one such case, the District and Sessions Court Judge Anuja Prabhudessai is likely to pronounce the order on the bail application of Tarun Tejpal on January 15. The Prosecution has maintained that a prima facie case has been made out and one is not required to go into the minute details of evidence collected. The prosecution maintains that there is no reason for the release of an applicant against whom a prima facie offence is made out.
The prosecution has also said that the cellphone, computer and laptop seized during investigation have been sent to a forensic laboratory and are yet to be accessed. The content stored in the laptop and cellphone are yet to be seen and the fullest opportunity should be given to the investigating officer to investigate the case.
As this case would progress, the digital evidence would play a crucial role and the defence lawyer would also be required to analyse the digital evidence to prove and strengthen his case.