Legality of sting operations
There is no legislation which deals with sting operations. Earlier, Indian courts had accepted sting operations and evidence from the same, as long as they were strictly in public interest, while considering other factors such as violation of privacy, and so on. The general standard employed is to disregard evidence if it has been obtained by luring the defendant into committing a crime or incriminating himself. However, there have also been instances where courts have admitted evidence against a person lured into committing an offence upon observing that there would be an increase in corruption if people who help unravel acts of corruption in an institution are prosecuted.
The current legal position on sting operations was decided by the Supreme Court in 2014. The Supreme Court has held that sting operations cannot be deemed a legal method of law enforcement. Many issues were identified with such operations:
- Persons are lured into a trap in order to frame charges against him.
- Being a deceptive operation it raises ethical and moral questions.
- Victim is held responsible for a crime he wouldn’t have committed but for the enticement.
Thus this leaves no doubt that post-2014, evidence gathered from sting operations will not be accepted and admitted.