Admissibility of a Video as Evidence in a Court: Its Presentation and Probative Value

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Dr.Muhammad Arif Rajput

Abstract

To general public, all videos are perceived to be true, but they may not have probative value in the Court of law. The undertaken article analyzes the admissibility and probative value of a video presented as evidence before a court in the Criminal Justice System of Pakistan (CJSP). It analyzes the relevant law and diagnoses the problems with the video evidence through the lens of the judgments of Superior Courts. The court of law objectively ascertains that a video presented as evidentiary means bears significant relevance to the fact in question. It must be admissible under the law, and it must be proved to be genuine. To fill up the gap between a “Video” and a “Video Evidence”, there is a process, which is known as video authentication. It determines that the video contents are genuine, authentic, credible, unaltered, untampered and unfabricated. The study discusses various modes of video authentication. Precedents set by superior courts of Pakistan show that convictions have been made once the courts are satisfied with the credibility of video evidence. In the court of law, video evidence is normally presented after the completion of prosecution evidence. The video is played in court and is watched by the presence. But the researcher establishes that such process does not have legal justification. The article suggests that it would be legal and proper for the prosecution to produce the video evidence through the witness, during his evidence, who is either victim, witness, recorded and/or copied the video directly from original source such as C.C.T.V system and that witness would be subjected to cross examination.

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