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After SC privacy judgment: Can BBM messages be read as evidence, HC asks Centre

The court raised the question while hearing a petition by businessman and meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi, challenging his recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. According to the ED, Qureshi was arrested on the basis of BBM messages exchanged by him.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 31, 2017 1:19:01 am
delhi high court, right to privacy, privacy fundamental right, Moin Akhtar Qureshi, Moin Akhtar Qureshi arrest, BlackBerry Messenger messages, Enforcement Directorate Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to inform it whether messages sent on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) can be read as evidence after the Supreme Court’s judgment declaring the right to privacy a fundamental right.

The court raised the question while hearing a petition by businessman and meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi, challenging his recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. According to the ED, Qureshi was arrested on the basis of BBM messages exchanged between him, former CBI chief A P Singh and several persons accused in other criminal cases.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Nazmi Waziri asked the counsel representing the Centre and the ED, “We would like to know, can we look into these BBM messages after the Supreme Court’s nine-bench privacy judgment?”
“Whether these private messages would be admissible as evidence. Privacy has been held as integral part of article 21 (life and liberty) of the Constitution. Please examine, as we would like to know it,” the bench asked.

The court also issued notice to the government and ED on Qureshi’s petition that said he had not been informed of the grounds for his arrest, and sought their response within five days. The court has listed the matter for September 13. Qureshi was arrested on August 25.

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