New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court on Saturday directed Delhi police to release electronic devices seized from the editors of a news portal.
The court said these devices cannot be kept for an indefinite time. This case was lodged on the complaint of BJP leader Amit Malviya last year.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Siddharth Malik directed the investigation officer to release the electronic devices within 15 days.
The matter has been listed on October 21, 2023 for compliance of the order.
“There is no reasonable ground for not releasing the digital/electronic devices in favour of the accused/applicant,” CMM Malik said in the order of September 23.
The court noted that record shows that the devices seized during the investigation were sent for expert examination to forensic science lab and as per the reply of the IO, mirror images of devices have already been prepared.
Delhi police opposed the application for release of devices on the ground that the mirror images of the devices may not be sufficient for retrieval of data from the said devices if in case some new facts come to light during further investigation.
The court rejected the contention and said, “From the record it is clear that the devices seized during investigation have been in custody of the IO for a very long time. The devices have already been examined by the FSL and their mirror Images is available with FSL for the purpose of any subsequent investigation.”
The court said that the argument of the IO that the devices might again be required for some subsequent investigation is speculative in nature based on the presumption of coming to light some new fact at a later stage, which may or may not happen.
“The devices of the accused persons cannot be kept indefinitely by the IO only on the speculation of an uncertain future event/discovery,” the court observed.
The court further said that even otherwise, reasonable conditions can be imposed on the applicant/ accused to ensure that the device is available to the IO for investigation, if required at a later stage.
The court imposed a condition that the applicant/accused shall furnish an affidavit before the IO to keep the device in his/her own possession/custody.
The applicant/accused shall further make every effort to keep the device safe from tampering and in case the applicant/accused notices any anomaly with the device, the same shall be immediately notified to the IO and the device shall also be handed over to the IO.
These electronic devices were seized in October last from the office of the news portal and its editors.
BJP leader Malviya had lodged a case for allegedly tarnishing his image. The FIR was registered for alleged cheating, forgery, defamation, criminal conspiracy etc. (ANI)
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