MP HC | Non-filing of certificate under S. 65-B of Evidence Act on an earlier occasion can be excused if it is filed at a later stage during trial

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Rajeev Kumar Dubey, J., upheld the decision of the Trial Court and rejected a petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC.

A petition was filed for quashing the order passed by First Additional Session Judge to the Court of Additional Judge, whereby the trial Court allowed the prosecution’s application filed under Section 91 of CrPC. and took a certificate under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act on record produced by the prosecution.

The applicant was facing a trial which was pending before the First Additional Session Judge to the Court of Additional Judge. He was tried for offences punishable under Sections 302 and 34 IPC. During the trial, the prosecution filed an application for taking certificate issued under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act on record and the Court allowed that application. The applicant was aggrieved from that order and filed a petition.

The applicant submitted that the prosecution did not file the certificate under Section 65 B of Indian Evidence Act at the time of filing of charge-sheet while said certificate ought to have been filed along with the charge-sheet. The prosecution was not entitled to file the certificate at the time of trial. And therefore, the Trial Court committed a mistake in taking that certificate on record.

The State opposed this stating that the certificate under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act can be filed during the trial of the case. 

The Court relied on Supreme Court’s decision in Sonu v. State of Haryana, (2017) 8 SCC 570 where it held that although electronic records are not inherently admissible as evidence, the objection is that, objection relating to the mode or method of proof has to be raised at the time of marking of the document as an exhibit and not later.

Similarly, the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Ravindra V. Desai, (2018) 16 SCC 273 held “Non-production of the certificate under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act, 1872 on an earlier occasion was a curable defect which stood cured.”

Based on this, the Court held that the non-filing of the certificate of 65-B of the Evidence Act on an earlier occasion is a curable defect which can be cured by filing the certificate of 65-B at a later stage during trial. The trial court did not commit any mistake in taking that certificate of Section 65-B on record.[Antar Singh v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1981, decided on 13-08-2019]

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