P Gopalakrishnan @ Dileep vs. State of Kerala and others (Crl Appeal No. 1794/2019)
Judgment delivered by Supreme Court on 29.11.2019
The nutshell of the case:
“Contents of Memory Card will be ‘Document’ and not ‘Material Object’ “
Facts: The contents of a memory card in relation to a crime amount to a ‘document’ and not a ‘material object’, held the Supreme Court while deciding Kerala actor Dileep’s plea for handing over a copy of the visuals of the alleged sexual crime committed on a Kerala actress in February 2017.
The SC bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheswari overturned the view taken by the High Court of Kerala that the memory card was a material object, and hence it will not come under the ambit of Section 207 CrPC
In cases involving issues of privacy and identity of the complainant or witnesses, such as sexual offences, the Court said that a balanced approach needs to be taken. The right to fair trial of the accused and the right to privacy of the victim should be balanced.