Delhi High Court directs Commissioner of Delhi Police to equip Police Control Room Vans with mobile phones or iPads in order to enable them to efficiently record the crime scene and tender the same to the court as legal evidence.
While recognising PCR vans as the first responders to any information about the crime scene, the Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also directed the Commissioner to provide appropriate training to the police personnel regarding the same.
In Dhanesh and Ors v. State, an appeal was filed against the conviction of the accused persons under section 302 of the IPC. The case of the prosecution was proved through circumstantial evidence, with heavy reliance being placed on section 106 of the Evidence Act which reads as:
‘Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge.– when any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him.’
While upholding the conviction under section 302, the court held that the accused persons were unable to relieve the burden placed on them by virtue of section 106 of Evidence Act, as they were unable to justify their presence at the spot during the commission of the crime.
The court also relied upon the forensic evidence which highlighted the matching of the deceased’s blood with the stains found on the clothes recovered from the accused, to opine that the prosecution has adequately proved its case despite the presumption under section 106.
While appreciating the evidence, the court did however note the lack of public witnesses in the case, despite the presence of a considerable crowd at the crime scene during the arrival of the police.
It is in this context that the court directed Commissioner, Delhi Police to ensure that PCR vans be equipped, within a reasonable time, with either a mobile phone or an i-pad or any other appropriate audio and visual equipment so that they can record the contemporaneous scene of crime and tender the same in Court as legal evidence.