Delhi

Recorded private conversation is admissible document: court

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Makes observation while deciding a divorce case filed by man who bugged wife’s room

A local court has ruled that private conversation, recorded in alleged violation of privacy of an individual, is an admissible document while deciding matrimonial disputes.

The court said it was “within its right to receive any report, statement, document, information which in its opinion will assist it in effectually dealing with a dispute between the parties whether such evidence is relevant or admissible or not”.

The court’s observation came while deciding a divorce case filed by a man on the ground of cruelty.

The man had submitted an audio-video recording of his wife talking to her friend, which he had recorded by bugging the bedroom, as evidence to secure divorce.

Right to privacy

This was opposed by the wife’s counsel contending that the communication made between the wife and her friend was made in private and cannot be permitted to be brought on record.

The court, however, said that the act of husband planting an audio-video recorder without the knowledge information of his wife certainly amounts to invasion of wife’s right to privacy.

“Petitioner had no right to plant such a device. Having planted the said recorder and made a recording therein, legally permissible consequences would follow in appropriate proceedings. Petitioner can be held liable for violating the respondent’s fundamental right to privacy,” the court said.

Evidence will assist

On the question of admissibility of the evidence collected by violating one’s right to privacy, the court said “the evidence shall be taken on record if the court is of the opinion that such evidence will assist it in dealing with the dispute effectively”.

“This court is of the opinion that the conversation between the respondent and her friend wherein she has allegedly spoken about the petitioner and his family and the status of the matrimonial life would certainly assist the court in effectively deciding the dispute between the parties,” it said.

“Thus, holding that the recorded conversation contained in CD is admissible the application is allowed,” the court said directing the CD and audio-video recorder be sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini for evaluating its authenticity.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:24:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/recorded-private-conversation-is-admissible-document-court/article25845080.ece

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