Allahabad High Court - Illegally obtained telephonic conversation between the accused is admissible as evidence.
In the matter of Mahant Prasad Ram Tripathi @ M.P.R. Tripathi v. State of Uttar Pradesh Thru. C.B.I. / A.C.B., Lucknow & Anr. [Criminal Revision No. - 935 of 2023], on behalf of the Revisionist, the co-accused demanded a bribe from the Complainant. The Complainant filed a complaint under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which was registered by the Respondent. The Respondent recorded the conversation between the Revisionist and the co-accused, wherein the co-accused told the Revisionist that “Haider had come and he has paid the amount of 6%”, which was acknowledged by the Revisionist merely saying “yes”.
The Revisionist filed an application under Section 227 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, on the justification that the CBI had unlawfully obtained the claimed telephone conversation, which was captured on the digital voice recorder, making it inadmissible as evidence. The Trial Court rejected the application. Aggrieved by the Court's decision, the Revisionist approached Allahabad High Court.
The Allahabad High Court referred to the Judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot Sandhu [(2005) 11 SCC 600], held that “The law is clear that any evidence cannot be refused to be admitted by the Court on the ground that it had been obtained illegally…Therefore, whether the telephonic conversation between the two accused persons was intercepted or not and whether it was done legally or not, would not affect the admissibility of the recorded conversation in evidence against the Revisionist.”
The Court additionally observed that the prosecution intended to present other evidence during the trial and that it was not just relying on the telephone conversation captured on the digital voice recorder.
In light of this, the Court dismissed the revision plea and upheld the trial court's decision.