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The Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) marks a significant evolution in the Indian legal system, replacing the outdated Indian Evidence Act of 1872. This new law acknowledges the fundamental shift in how evidence is presented in today’s technology-driven world.

One of the most crucial changes lies in the recognition of electronic evidence. Unlike the IEA, which relegated such evidence to a secondary status, the BSA grants electronic records primary evidence status. This reflects the reality that information stored or transmitted electronically holds the same validity as traditional paper documents. Section 57 specifically emphasizes this, ensuring that digital evidence carries the same weight in legal proceedings.

The BSA allows for the electronic presentation of even oral evidence, such as witness testimonies conducted remotely. This advancement ensures that physical presence in court is no longer a prerequisite for providing testimony, and digital records hold the same significance as traditional in-person appearances. While the provided text mentions Section 24, it likely focuses on refining existing procedures for joint trials rather than introducing a completely new concept.The BSA represents a crucial modernization of the Indian legal system, adapting to the digital age by streamlining the use of electronic evidence and facilitating remote participation in legal proceedings. This ensures a more efficient and adaptable legal framework in a world increasingly reliant on technology.

 

Indian Evidence Act(IEA)

Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam(BSA)

Electronic Evidence in IEA acknowledged as electronic records through the Information Technology Act, 2000 amendments, it treated them as secondary evidence, requiring additional verification and procedures for their admissibility.

Electronic Evidence: The most significant change lies in the treatment of electronic evidence. The IEA considered electronic records as secondary evidence, requiring additional verification. The BSA, however, recognizes them as primary evidence, reflecting their widespread use and reliability in today’s digital world.

Section 57: This specific section in the BSA explicitly emphasizes the acceptance of electronic records as primary evidence, removing the previous hierarchy that favored traditional paper documents.

The Indian Evidence Act (IEA) of 1872 did not have a provision for remote testimony.

 

Physical Presence Assumed: The IEA was enacted in a time when technology for remote communication was not readily available. Therefore, the Act assumes the physical presence of witnesses in court for their testimony.

Focus on Cross-Examination: The legal framework heavily relies on cross-examination as a crucial part of the judicial process. This requires the witness to be physically present for direct questioning and observation of their demeanor.

Remote Testimony: The BSA allows for the electronic presentation of oral evidence, such as witness testimonies conducted remotely. This advancement ensures that physical presence in court is no longer a prerequisite for providing testimony, and digital records hold the same weight as traditional in-person appearances.

Enacted during a time without advanced technology, the IEA focused on traditional methods of evidence presentation, assuming physical presence of witnesses and relying heavily on paper documents.

Designed for the digital age, the BSA recognizes the significant role of technology in evidence collection and presentation, adapting to the realities of a world reliant on electronic records and remote communication.