Case Title: Mahant Prasad Ram Tripathi @ M.P.R. Tripathi vs State Of U.P. Thru. C.B.I. / A.C.B., Lucknow
The single bench of Justice Subhash Vidyarthi of Allahabad High Court while upholding a trial’s court order and dismissing the plea of the accused, held that the telephonic conversation between the two accused persons cannot be excluded from evidence on the ground that it had been obtained illegally.
“Whether the telephonic conversation between the two accused persons was intercepted or not and whether it was done legally or not, would not affect the admissibility of the recorded conversation in evidence against the applicant”.
The bench noted that any evidence cannot be refused to be admitted on the ground that it had been obtained illegally.
“The law is clear that any evidence cannot be refused to be admitted by the Court on the ground that it had been obtained illegally”.
The trial court ordered not to discharge an accused in a bribery case who was implicated in the case on the basis of a phone call recording. Against which, accused made a plea in the High court for discharging him in the said case.
The background of the case is, one, Mahant Prasad Ram Tripathi, the former CEO of Cantonment board, was accused of demanding Rs 1.65 lakh as bribe through Shashi Mohan, a member of the board.
The CBI had recorded a telephonic conversation of both, were the Shashi Mohan allegedly told Tripathi that 6 % of the amount had been paid, reply to which Tripathi had responded by saying yes.
Tripathi sought discharge from this corruption case on the ground that the telephonic conversation was not admissible as evidence.
Counsel appearing for the Tripathi had questioned the admissibility of the phone conversation on the ground that it was illegally obtained.
Counsel submitted that under section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act permits interception of the communication only in the certain contingencies.
In which, the bench opined that the communication between the two accused cannot be termed as intercepted.
“It appears that the communication made by one accused person to the other reached him and it was thereafter that it was recorded on another device called digital voice recorder. Can it be said in these circumstances that the communication between the two accused persons was ‘intercepted’? … From the plain meaning of the word ‘intercept’ it appears that the communication was not ‘intercepted’”.
The bench dismissed the revision application of the accused after nothing that the phone recording was not the solitary evidenced cited against the Tripathi.