'Are personal messages admissible as evidence after SC's privacy ruling?'
The ramifications of the SC's ruling on privacy are now starting to be seen. The Delhi HC has questioned if considering the recent developments, private messages can be used as evidence in a criminal investigation. The bench brought up the query while hearing a plea by businessman Moin Qureshi, who has challenged his recent arrest in a money laundering case.
Qureshi was arrested by the ED in the last week of August for alleged money laundering. He is also under the scanner of the I-T and CBI for alleged tax evasion, corruption and more. Now he has challenged his arrest in the HC, arguing the ED had held him by violating the Constitution. "No grounds of arrest were furnished," his lawyer RK Handoo argued.
The ED says Qureshi was nabbed based on BBM messages exchanged with former CBI chief AP Singh and other accused persons. The HC said the Directorate will have to clarify whether relying on personal messages falls under "reasonable restrictions" under Article 21 of the Constitution. "You cannot deny liberty to someone without grounds," it said while issuing notices to the Centre and ED.