- Research/Scholar Paper name – “The Doctrine of Fruits of Poisonous Tree and its Relevance in Indian Justice System”
- Author: Pavan Kasturi
- Co-Author: Vinisha Kaveti
- Institution: University College of Law, Osmania University
- Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
- Date of Publication: 01/06/2021
The Principle of Poison Tree or the term “fruit of the Poisonous Tree” is very similar to the exclusionary rule of evidence law. Assume a scenario that you are accused of the crime of stealing the Content of a story in an unpublished book by taking pictures of that content through your phone and publishing it. The police asked you to give the fingerprints for unlocking the phone, and you refused to give, as it violates the principle of privacy and your fundamental rights enshrined in Article 20, but police not turning their thumbs down obtained your fingerprints through deception practised on you to collect evidence and later found the pictures of the content in your phone. Another scenario could be where your phone conversation was recorded by a third party without your knowledge and then used against you, such recordings in court cases in the recent past has increased enormously. Clearly, the safeguards which should be followed so as to ensure your right to privacy have been violated here and you can be charged for the offence since there is evidence against you. But would the evidence seized still be admissible in the court of law is a cardinal question to ask. Is it true that even when your rights are jeopardised to obtain evidence it is still admissible in the court of law?
In this article, an attempt has been made to comprehend the evolution of the jurisprudence of this principle, limitations and perils of admitting ‘illegally obtained evidence and the viewpoint which promotes the non-application of this doctrine. Finally, considering the new data protection bill, any possible changes to the existing scenario is considered and a way forward is proposed at the end of this article for the Indian criminal justice system.
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