Government agencies can analyse WhatsApp chats, Narcotics Control Bureau tells Punjab and Haryana High Court
WhatsApp chats, that are end-to-end encrypted, can be analysed by authorities organisations, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) lately advised the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Responding to a bail petition filed within the High Court by an 18-year-old beneath Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in a Narcotic Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS) case, the NCB had acknowledged in that because the whole WhatsApp chat of the accused is end-to finish encrypted, it couldn’t be opened by the NCB, which was constrained to ship it to forensic specialists for its ‘opening and analysis’.
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The NCB, Chandigarh submitted that the petitioner and his father, a co-accused, have been present in possession of 520 grams of heroin with none allow or license whereas they have been travelling in automotive. They have been arrested on February 14, 2020.
The NCB mentioned within the Court that petitioner’s involvement in trafficking was established from his dialog with a Nigerian handler-supplier of the contraband over telephone and WhatsApp communications. Screen pictures from the petitioner’s cell phone displaying his interplay on WhatsApp with the Nigerian provider have been submitted by the NCB.
The petitioner’s advocate submitted that recordings of the alleged WhatsApp conversations between the petitioner — holder of the cell phone on the related time — and the contraband provider, a Nigerian nationwide, had not been revealed or made obtainable to indicate the petitioner’s involvement.
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The NCB counsel acknowledged the WhatsApp dialog was despatched for evaluation on April 4, 2021, because it was not thought-about mandatory earlier in view of the petitioner’s confessional assertion. The counsel added that the NCB was subsequently constrained to ship the WhatsApp conversations for forensic evaluation with the intent to submit its report at an acceptable stage throughout trial, which process itself shouldn’t be opposite to legislation.
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Justice Sudip Ahluwalia, who was listening to the matter on May 7 in his order acknowledged the Court finds no justification to launch the petitioner on bail at this stage. The petition is, due to this fact, dismissed.