CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State government to frame guidelines for gathering electronic materials as evidence in connection with criminal cases.
A division bench of Justice MS Ramesh and Justice N Anand Venkatesh passed the direction on hearing the appeals preferred by the convicts in the sensational Gokulraj murder case. The parents of Gokulraj and the police had also made appeals against the acquittal of a few other accused in the case.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, the convicts including one Yuvaraj, president of Maveeran Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder Peravai submitted that the prosecution had conducted the trial on the basis of the CCTV footage retrieved from Tiruchengode Arulmigu Arthanareeswarar Temple and they portrayed several other electronic gadgets in support of the charges. "There are several flaws in collecting the electronic evidence and we suspect that evidence could have been manipulated," the convicts submitted through their counsel.
However, the police rejected such submissions saying electronic evidence cannot be manipulated or tampered.
After hearing the views of forensic experts who were present in the court in this connection, the judges asked the state government to come up with some guidelines to gather and protect electronic evidence. "As CCTV footage is projected as major evidence nowadays, it is essential to frame guidelines for obtaining the electronic / gadget-based evidence," the judges observed.
The court directed the state to furnish that manual before the court so that the judges could annex the same along with their orders. As the arguments of the convicts were over, the bench adjourned the matter for February 23 for a hearing from Gokulraj's mother and police.
The case was pertaining to the cold-blooded murder of a Salem youth Gokulraj on October 24, 2015. According to police, Gokulraj was lastly seen with his friend Swathi in the hill temple i.e., Arthanareeswarar Temple, Tiruchengode. He was picked up by a group of men from the temple and a day after his body was found without the head near a railway line at Pallipalayam, Namakkal.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android