Mobile Phones and Criminal Investigations in India

10 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020

Date Written: May 2, 2020


This short paper is meant to help laypersons understand some legal issues in connection with mobile phones and criminal investigations. It address the statutory basis in ordinary criminal procedure that allows police to seize a mobile phone, and the legal limits that restrain this power. It suggests there is much greater ambiguity in accessing these devices, and stronger legal challenges are possibly available to resist police compelling individuals to give their pass-codes / biometric IDs to unlock the device. However, the ground realities of the Indian criminal process means many of these possible arguments offer only illusory protection. Medium-term and Long-term avenues for changing status quo must be actively worked upon to help restore the balance of power and secure greater fairness in the criminal process.

Keywords: Criminal Procedure, Self-Incrimination, Criminal Investigation, Privacy

Suggested Citation

Sekhri, Abhinav, Mobile Phones and Criminal Investigations in India (May 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Abhinav Sekhri (Contact Author)

Delhi High Court ( email )

India Gate
Delhi, 110003

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