On Saturday, The Kerala High Court held that the prosecution of a case has every right to ask that the accused surrender their mobile phones for the forensic examination under Section 79A of the Information Technology Act. The Court had rejected the argument saying that the surrender of mobile phones would infringe the fundamental right against self-incrimination as under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.
Advocate B. Raman Pillai who appeared for the accused in the matter suggested that any direction to produce the mobile phones would result in the violation of the right against self-incrimination guaranteed under Article 20(3) of the Constitution. However, the Director-General of Prosecutions T.A Shaji who appeared for the prosecution had vehemently argued that there was no question of violating Article 20(3).
As laid down by the Supreme Court in Oghad and the Karnataka High Court in Virendra Khanna, the Bench was of the opinion that the prosecution was empowered to seek that the accused hand over their mobile phones for the purpose of forensic examination.