Are WhatsApp chats admissible as evidence before a court of law?
Yes, but legal experts believe that there are big riders attached to it. Vikrant Singh Negi, a partner at DSK Legal who specialises in white-collar criminal law and data security cases, says like any regular document it will have to pass the scrutiny of evidence act which needs to be established by the prosecution in the context of the case.
“For example, in Deepika’s case, the NCB will have to prove that the messages were sent by her and not someone else using her phone,” Negi told India Today.
Delhi-based cyber law expert Dr Karnika Seth said there is a precedent of WhatsApp chats being used as evidence. “In Ambalal Sarabai Enterprises v KS Infraspace LLP case, the Supreme Court held that WhatsApp messages, which are considered virtual communication, are capable of being considered as evidence. But the meaning and content of the virtual communication must be proved through evidence-in-chief and cross-examination during the trial. Most experts said WhatsApp chats alone may not be enough for a conviction.