New Delhi, Apr 05, 2018 : The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to ensure videographing of crime scene as it was crucial to evidence gathering and its presentation in a credible manner during the criminal trial.
A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and R F Nariman passed the significant order on Tuesday and asked the government to introduce videography in a phased manner. The bench endorsed the Report of the Committee of Experts set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2017, which stated that videographing crime scene during police investigation is of immense value in improving the administration of criminal justice.
"We are of the considered view that notwithstanding the fact that as of now investigating agencies in India are not fully equipped and prepared for the use of videography, the time is ripe to introduce videography in investigation, particularly of crime scene as a desirable and acceptable best practice, as suggested by the Committee of the MHA to strengthen the Rule of Law," the bench said.
With regard to the production of a certificate as mandated under Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act for admissibility of electronic evidence, the court noted its applicability being procedural, it can be relaxed by court wherever interest of justice so justifies.
The top court directed the MHA to set up a Central Oversight Committee (COB) forthwith to implement the Plan of Action in this regard.
"The COB will be responsible for further planning and implementation of the use of videography. We direct the central government to give full support to the COB and place necessary funds at its disposal. We also direct that the COB may issue appropriate directions so as to ensure that use of videography becomes a reality in a phased manner, and in the first phase of implementation by 15th July 2018 crime scene videography must be introduced at least at some places as per viability and priority determined by the COB," the bench said.
The court directed the Centre to issue orders in this regard to home secretaries of all states and sought progress report from the COB by July 31.