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Report No. 94

10.16. The constitutions aspect.-

The arguments for and against the exclusion of evidence illegally obtained, that have been summarised above, do not, of course, take into account the constitutional aspects. In a particular country, where rights guaranteed by the Constitution are in issue, the controversy may acquire a different colour. The law then, has to concern itself also with values whose importance is heightened by the Constitution. Introducing an exclusionary rule can, in such countries, be argued for with greater force. This, in fact, happened in the United States, where the Fourth Amendment of the American Constitution, protecting the citizen, inter alia, against unreasonable search and seizure, ultimately came to be invoked as the foundation for a rule excluding evidence acquired as the consequence of an illegal search or seizure.

It is on this basis that Courts in the United States have held that the States are required to exclude, from State criminal trials, evidence illegally seized by State Officers.1 The Supreme Court of the United States has said the same thing in different words by observing that "the primary purpose of the exclusionary rule is to deter future unlawful police conduct and thereby effectuate the guarantees of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure."2

1. Mapp v. Ohio, (1961) 367 US 643.

2. United States v. Calendra, (1974) 414 US 338 (347), (Powell, J., speaking for the Court).



Evidence Obtained Illegally or Improperly - Proposed Section 166a of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back




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