INDIA’S NOTABLE CASE STUDIES INVOLVING DIGITAL FORENSIC

Digital Forensics Harshita Choudhary todayJanuary 10, 2024

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Of course! Digital Forensic plays a crucial role in investigating cybercrimes, analysing electronic evidences and locating important information or data stored in digital devices. Let’s explore some well-known digital forensic case studies of India, that emphasise on the significance and challenges of this specific field in solving complicated criminal cases. 

The Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj Double murder case:

In the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder case of 2008, digital forensics played a very important role in the examination of electronic evidences. Investigators were able to reconstruct the communication and interactions between the victims and possible suspects with the help of computer data, emails, and mobile phone records. Analysis of digital footprints provides information on the victim’s activities and possible leads in spite of certain data handling and integrity challenges.

The SSR- Rhea Chakraborty case: 

Digital Forensic was used in the investigation and case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Analysis of digital devices including mobile phones and computers, aimed to determine communication pattern, online activity and potential leads. Digital forensics assisted in tracking digital trails and social media activity providing insights into possible motives and connection, despite some challenges in data encryption and access to certain platforms. 

The IPL Spot-Fixing Scandal:

The Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal in 2013 involved the use of digital forensic in recovering electronic evidences. Investigators were able to identify the people involved in match fixing and unlawful betting activities through the examination of mobile phones, phone logs, text messages, and money transitions. Digital forensics played a significant role in order to establish the communication networks and revealing the complexity of the scandal.

The 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks:

The 2008 Mumbai terror attacks witnessed the application of digital forensics in analysing communication networks and electronic data. Investigation of phones, emails, GPS data, and internet usage helped in the reconstruction of perpetrators’ activities, communication channels and coordination patterns. Digital forensics overcame difficulties with encrypted communications and cross-border data access to assist the authorities in piecing together the timeline of events and identify the individuals who were involved.

The Vyapam Scam:

The Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment scandal in Madhya Pradesh involved digital forensics in examining electronic records and online transitions. Analysis of computers, emails and financial transition, helped in uncovering irregular and fraudulent practices in the examination and recruitment processes. Digital forensic played a crucial role in establishing the trail of evidence and locating major parties involved in it.

The Nirav Modi-PNB Bank Fraud case:  

The Nirav Modi-PNB Bank Fraud case demonstrated how digital forensic can be used to uncover electronic transitions and financial irregularities. Analysis of bank records, emails, and digital transition revealed the fraudulent practices and manipulation of the financial systems. Digital forensics helped in tracing the flow of funds, by which the officials were able to understand the extent of the fraud. 

The Patiala House Court Leak case:

The Leak case in Patiala House court involved the leaking of sensitive documents and information. Digital forensics played an important role in tracking down the source of leak, in analysis of electronic communication, and in the identification of those responsible for the sacrifice of confidential information. The case highlighted the importance of securing digital infrastructure in order to prevent data leaks. 

Sunanda Pushkar Death case:

The investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of politician Shashi Tharoor, involved digital forensic. Examination of electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, etc was done to piece together what happened before her death. In order to identify possible motives and relations, digital forensics helped in the analysis of connections, social media activities and online activity. Even though it was difficult to access some protected data, forensic digital analysis revealed details on the scenario. 

Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: 

The Kerala Gold Smuggling case which unfolded in 2020, involved smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels. Digital forensics played an important role in examining electronic communications such as emails, phone records and chats to trace the network which was involved in illegal activities. Examination of digital evidences revealed important links, helping investigators in unravelling the smuggling network and in identifying key individuals involved in the case.

Pegasus Spyware Scandal:

In 2021, India was entangled in the controversy surrounding the use of  Pegasus spyware. Digital forensic experts played a very crucial role in investigating allegations of unauthorised surveillance by analysing mobile devices to trace the spyware. This case demonstrated the importance of digital forensic in uncovering the sophisticated cyber espionage activities. 

The Unnao Rape case:

In the Unnao Rape case of Uttar Pradesh, where a legislator was accused of sexual assault, digital forensic analysis was performed to analyse electronic data. Investigators examine the victim’s mobile phone, social media accounts and correspondence logs to establish the sequence of events and communication patterns. Digital forensic experts retrieved the crucial data and helped in strengthening the case against the accused.

Conclusion

In India, digital forensic has become a vital tool in everyday criminal investigations. These case studies demonstrate how important digital forensic is for uncovering digital evidences, reconstructing timelines, communication networks, and establishing links between suspect and criminal activities. 

However, challenges persist in digital investigations such as data encryption, data integrity issues, and the need for specialised training to stay up to date with rapidly evolving digital platforms and cyber threats. 

Since digital technologies are always evolving, it is necessary to keep improving digital forensic techniques to protect the integrity of the evidence and the rule of law. One cannot underestimate the importance of digital forensics in India’s law enforcement and judicial system considering the continuous advancements in digital crimes. Its ability to track digital footprints and provide crucial evidence will continue to remain essential in solving complex crimes. 

Written by: Harshita Choudhary

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