Can audio and video recording be used in Consumer Courts as evidence?

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Consumer Laws Can audio and video recording be used in Consumer Courts as evidence?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #4644

    Sirs,

    As you must be aware. The Indian Evidence Act 1872 does not apply to the consumer forum. Or my understanding about it is wrong.
    I have enquired with many advocates and they are of the opinion that rules of The Indian Evidence Act 1872 does not apply to Consumer Protection Act.

    Now I have audio and video recordings as proof.

    These audio and video recordings, transcripts can be used as evidence as per Section 65B of The Indian Evidence Act 1872. If the opposite parties whom against I have evidence in the form of audio and video recordings deny them, where do these evidences stand? What stand would the consumer forum take on such evidence. However the registrar of Consumer Forum Bangalore has stated that these can be used as evidence in the Consumer Forum.

    Can any expert throw some light on this topic?

    If the audio and video recordings are of no use in Consumer Forum, then how to prove that opposite party is at fault when the opposite is lying in the affidavits they given to the fora. Plus there is no process of cross examination in the consumer fora. Only affidavits, and written arguments are taken, and chance of orally arguing is also given to parties.

    Need help on this topic.

  • #4649

    Section 13(4) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, provides that the District Consumer Forum shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, inter alia, including “the discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence“.

    Therefore, I am of the opinion that it should be possible for you to submit the original device in which audio or video was recorded in order to provide evidence in respect of their contents, since such electronic evidence is generally admissible and such electronic record is considered as a document.

    If you want to submit secondary evidence in the form of soft copy of the recording or the transcript thereof, then you may generally follow the rules laid down in Section 65-B of the Evidence Act. Even if the provisions of the Evidence Act may not be applicable in consumer cases in the strict or literary manner, the spirit of that Act or the general principles may still be applied. In any case, the consumer forum may allow alternative ways of admitting the electronic evidence.

         


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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