Gujarat makes it tougher for

A new circular lays down stringent guidelines,officers say will hamper probe

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad | Published: June 17, 2013 3:33 am

Citing the instance in which a top politician’s phone call detail records (CDRs) were procured by a constable in Delhi last year,the state government has introduced some stringent measures for its police officers seeking CDRs.

A circular issued last week lays down clear guidelines for the police officers seeking CDRs for investigation or other purposes related to crime or national security.

The circular,dated May 8,states that for obtaining CDR of Class I officers,prior permission of director general of police is a must. In other cases,the investigating officer in the case has to take the permission from police commissioners in cities and from superintendents of police in districts. Earlier,different police agencies used to get CDRs through nodal officers assigned for the purpose.

Sources said the circular has been signed by Additional Director General of Police Shivanand Jha,who also holds the additional charge of State Intelligence Bureau (SIB),the nodal agency that checks phone intercepts. The circular states that only an investigating officer (IO) can obtain permission to procure CDR from police commissioner or SP in case of an offence.

“In case there is no offence registered but the IO wants CDR,he must have enough reasons as prescribed under the law. If the demand pertains to issues such as national security or other such issues,the IO must mention it in the form that he has to file to get the permission. The reason behind coming up with new guidelines is that it has been found that CDR is misused by policemen and innocent people are being harassed,” sources said.

The circular,sources said,mentions the instance in which a top BJP leader’s CDR was procured illegally by a Delhi Police constable and three private detectives. It does not mention the name of Arun Jaitley.

However,the new guidelines have left many in the police disappointed,especially the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) and and other investigating wings in the police. Officials there say the new instructions will hamper investigation.

“The dependency on CDR to crack criminal cases is very high. The new guidelines will make it tough for us to crack cases on time. What do we do in cases such as kidnapping in which the offence is not lodged but the hunt is on? Do we wait for a decision by senior officials and let culprits go on offensive,” said an official.P Amitabh Pathak was not available for comment.

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