Sunday, March 3, 2024

Delhi HC rules against compelling accused to disclose digital passwords during trial

An accused individual cannot be compelled to disclose passwords or similar details of seized digital devices during an ongoing trial, the Delhi High Court said last month, Bar and Bench reported on Wednesday.

Justice Saurabh Banerjee made this observation when he granted bail to Sanket Bhadresh Modi, the director of a company alleged to have generated around $20 million through fraudulent phone calls to the United States from counterfeit call centers in India.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, conducting the inquiry, objected to Modi’s bail request, asserting that he, being the primary suspect in the scam, had not furnished the passwords for his devices, email, and cryptocurrency wallet accounts.

The court said: “Thus, any accused like the applicant is expected to show high sensitivity, diligence and understanding during such an investigation.” It added, “At the same time, the concerned investigating agency cannot expect anyone who is an accused, like the applicant herein, to sing in a tune which is music to their ears, more so, whence such an accused, like the applicant herein is well and truly protected under Article 20(3) of the Constitution.”

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