Digital evidences have their own peculiarities and legalities. They are required to comply with certain unique and additional safeguards before they can be considered to be admissible in a court of law. The cyber forensics trends and developments in India 2013 (PDF), provided by Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB), have outlined certain issues that must be addressed by Indian government before cyber forensics can be suitably applied in India.
Not only this, cyber forensics best practices in India must also be developed. Similarly, India needs to strengthen cyber forensics and cyber crimes investigation capabilities so that cyber crime investigations can be successfully conducted. Even use of mobile forensics in India is very limited and for simple tasks of deleted message recovery, mobile phones are occasionally sent to central cyber forensics laboratories. This is severely increasing the backlog of cases at these forensics laboratories and this impedes the investigation and prosecution of the culprits.
At the same time, improperly acquired digital evidence may not be legally admissible. For instance, if the quality of digital evidence is not proper and it fails to prove the incriminatory aspect about the accused, it may not be admissible. The Anti-Corruption Bureau has recently reiterated this quality and incrimination aspect while analysing the digital material obtained during the sting operation drive of Aam Aadmi Party.
The TOI has reported that the Aam Aadmi Party’s sting operations seem to have little impact upon corrupt babus-so far. While about 30 people have acted on the chief minister’s advice to secretly record evidence of corruption, the government’s Anti-Corruption Bureau says most of these recordings are of such a poor quality that they cannot be a basis for action.
An officer told TOI: “People use mobile phones or other small recording devices. The recordings are not clear and the complainants have not asked incriminating questions. There is not enough concrete evidence in people’s sting operations”. He said only 10 of the 30 recordings received have been referred for inquiry and sent to forensic laboratory and even these may not stand legal scrutiny. “The weak stings only make our work difficult because although the files are piling up, the evidence cannot sustain the complaints for long,” said an official.
Within a week of its launch, the government’s anti-corruption helpline has received close to 40,000 calls and the officials are now guiding the callers on properly conducting sting operations.