A landmark case wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court held that, “There is warrant for proposition that even if, evidence is illegally obtained it is admissible. Over a century ago it was said in an English case where a constable searched the appellant illegally and found a quantity of offending article in his pocket that it would be a dangerous obstacle to the administration of justice if it were held, because evidence was obtained by illegal means, it could not be used against a party charged with an offence. See Jones v. Owen“.
Facts of Case:
R.M.Malkani was at the crucial time the Coroner of Bombay. The evidence is that the patient died on 13 May, 1964. Dr. Motwani saw the appellant on 3 October, 1964. The appellant demanded Rs. 20,000. The appellant asked for payment of Rs. 20,000 in order that Dr. Adatia would avoid inconvenience and publicity in newspapers in case inquest was held. Dr. Motwani informed Dr. Adatia about the conversation with the appellant. On 4 October, 1964 the appellant rang up Dr. Motwani and said that he was willing to reduce the amount to Rs. 10,000. On 5 October, 1964 Dr. Adatia received calls from the appellant asking him to attend the Coroner’s Court on 6 October, 1964. Dr. Adatia got in touch with Dr. Motwani on 6 October and gave him that message. Dr. Adatia rang up the appellant on 6 October and asked for adjournment. The appellant granted the adjournment to 7 October. On 6 October there were two calls from the appellant asking Dr. Adatia to attend the Coroner’s Court on 7 October and also that Dr. Adatia should contact the appellant on 6 October. Dr. Motwani rang up the appellant and told him that the telephonic conversation had upset Dr. Adatia. On 6 October Dr. Motwani conveyed to Mugwe, Director of Intelligence Bureau about the demand of bribe to the appellant.
There is no violation of section 25 of the Telegraph Act in the facts and circumstances of the present case. There is warrant for proposition that even if, evidence is illegally obtained it is admissible. Over a century ago it was said in an English case where a constable searched the appellant illegally and found a quantity of offending article in his pocket that it would be a dangerous obstacle to the administration of justice if it were held, because evidence was obtained by illegal means, it could not be used against a party charged with an offence. See Jones v. Owen.
The Court will take care in two directions in admitting such evidence. First, the Court will find out that it is genuine and free from tampering or mutilation. Secondly, the Court may also secures scrupulous conduct and behaviour on behalf of the Police. The reason is that the Police Officer is more likely to behave properly if improperly obtained evidence is liable to be viewed with care and caution by the Judge. In every case the position of the accused, the nature of the investigation and the gravity of the offence must be judged in the light of the material facts and the Surrounding circumstances.
When a Court permits a tape recording to be played over it is acting on real evidence if it treats the intonation of the words to be relevant and genuine. The fact that tape recorded conversation can be altered is also borne in mind by the Court while admitting it in evidence.
R.M.Malkani Vs State Of Maharashtra on 22 September, 1972
Citations : [1973 AIR SC 157], [1973 MHLJ 92], [1973 MPLJ SC 224], [1973 SCC 1 471], [1973 SCC CRI 399], [1973 SCR 2 417], [1973 KHC 0 469], [1973 CAR 31], [1973 CRLJ SC 228]
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