A court in Mumbai has acquitted a 21-year-old woman accused of driving on the wrong side of a road observing the Mumbai Police has failed to prove that a Twitter photograph of the incident was electronic evidence.
Metropolitan magistrate, Girgaon court, N A Patel, acquitted the woman of the offences registered under Indian Penal Code section 279 (rash driving), 336 (act endangering life and safety of others), and relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act on February 20, 2023.
The order of the court was made available recently.
The police had registered a case against the woman for allegedly driving a two-wheeler on the wrong side of a road in the Gaondevi area based on a photo shared on Twitter by a cyclist. The alleged incident had taken place on May 18, 2022.
During the trial, the court examined three persons- a member of the Twitter self-help group, the investigating officer, and the cyclist.
The court noted that as far as the evidence of the Twitter helpline group member and the cyclist is concerned, both of them were not present on the spot.
"It has been specifically deposed by prosecution witness one (Twitter helpline group member) that she received the message on Whatsapp that one girl was driving on the wrong side and the basis of it she has lodged the FIR. The prosecution witness three is just a police officer," the court said in the order.
"In the present matter, the photographs tweeted by the prosecution witness (cyclist) is crucial one. The copy of the same is also filed on record, as the same is uploaded on Twitter and a printout was taken from a personal computer or mobile; it is electronic evidence," it said, adding a certificate under section 65B of the Evidence Act is must to prove the same.
"However, the prosecution has failed to file the certificate. Thus the copy of electronic evidence is not proved by the prosecution. Therefore, in the absence of crucial evidence the story of the prosecution is lying in the shadow of a doubt," the court added.