It may be recalled that on 17th January 2017, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh came up with a concept of “Contemporaneous Certificate” for production of Section 65B Certified electronic documents to the Court, in the case of Sharadendu Tiwari Vs Ajay Arjun Singh (17th January 2017) . Accordingly when an electronic document is converted from one form to another and stored, a Section 65B certificate will be required to authenticate each stage of such conversion. As long as the chain of these contemporaneous certificates is maintained properly, the last document is as good as the original for the purpose of admissibility.
Using this principle, CEAC (Cyber Evidence Archival Center), which is a pioneer in the production of Section 65B certified electronic documents, has decided to introduce the following system for distribution of the certificates.
Accordingly, when CEAC observes any electronic document and creates a computer output as per Section 65B of Indian Evidence Act for admissibility, the same would be stored in the CEAC Dropbox under a secure access of the person who requests for the certificate. The certificate can then be viewed and downloaded by the authorized person. The uploaded document will carry the Section 65B certificate from CEAC. The authorized person would create his own Section 65B certificate and produce it in a Court when required.
This system has been introduced since in some cases , the signatory of a Section 65B certificate may be summoned by a Court just to confirm if the certificate has in deed been issued by him. The certifier having already added the details of how the observation was made in the certificate itself, has nothing more to add to the document as a witness. But this would involve additional cost to be incurred by the person who presents the document in the Court.
In the new system, the need to summon the CEAC official to the Court would not arise except under very special circumstance.