The revelation came recently during a narcotics-related hearing in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana
WhatsApp chats, which are end-to-end encrypted, can be scanned by government organizations. The revelation came recently during a hearing of a narcotics-related case in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.
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In a petition filed with the High Court by an 18-year-old under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, seeking proper bail in a case under the Narcotic Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (NDPS ), the investigative agency – Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said in its response that the entire WhatsApp chat was end-to-end encrypted, so it could not be opened by NCB agents themselves – themselves, who were therefore forced to send it to forensic pathologists for its “opening and analysis”, and once the relevant report arrives, it will also be made available.
The prosecution’s case (NCB, Chandigarh) was that the applicant and his father, a co-accused in the case, were found in possession of 520 grams of heroin without any permit or license while driving. They were arrested on February 14, 2020.
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The BCN argued before the Court that the applicant’s complacency / involvement in the trafficking was established from his talks with a Nigerian provider of smuggling by telephone and WhatsApp communications. Photographs of screenshots from the petitioner’s cell phone regarding his WhatsApp interaction with the Nigerian-born provider have been submitted by BCN.
The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the recordings of the alleged WhatsApp conversations between the petitioner and the holder of the cell phone at the material time. and the Nigerian contraband supplier had not been revealed or made available to show the applicant’s involvement.
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BCN’s lawyer said that the WhatsApp conversation was sent for analysis on April 4, 2021, as it was not deemed necessary earlier in view of the applicant’s confession. The lawyer added that the BCN was subsequently forced to send the WhatsApp conversations for forensic analysis with the intention of submitting its report at an appropriate stage during the trial, which procedure itself is not. against the law.
Judge Sudip Ahluwalia, who heard the case on May 7 in his order, said the court found no justification for releasing the applicant on bail at this stage. The request is therefore dismissed.