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Treasury Bond Inquiry Commissioners clarify position on ‘Apple Account’

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds has issued an order prohibiting Arjun Aloysius from tampering with or altering in any manner, the data in his ‘Apple ID’ or ‘Apple Account’ and prohibiting his agents or others acting on his behalf from doing so.The order was made on August 3, 2017.

The order further says that: “We have carefully examined the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948, as amended. We are not satisfied that, the provisions of the Act gives us the power to issue an Order prohibiting Mr. Aloysius from accessing his ‘Apple ID’ or ‘Apple Account’.In taking this view, we note that, the ‘Apple ID’ or ‘Apple Account’ of an individual is his personal property and we are mindful that this Commission of Inquiry should give due regard and respect to the right of a person to access his property.”

The Order also says, “However, the position is different with regard to the second part of the application made by learned Senior Additional Solicitor General which is to prohibit Mr. Aloysius from tampering with or altering the data in his ‘Apple ID’ or ‘Apple Account’.

In this regard, we are of the view that, the mobile phone belonging to Mr. Aloysius is a thing or item which has been duly produced to the Commission of Inquiry in terms of the Act and, is therefore, in our custody. In these circumstances, this Commission of Inquiry has the power to ensure that, such thing or item in the custody of Commission is not tampered with or altered. The data in the ‘Apple ID’ or ‘Apple Account’ which is integral to that mobile phone falls within that description.”