The call data record submitted by a service provider to Maharashtra ATS shows BJP leader Eknath Khadse received no call from a Pakistan number, as alleged by an ethical hacker from Gujarat last month, sources said Friday.
The Pakistan landline number in question is allegedly registered in the name of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s wife Mehjabeen.
Khadse quit as state revenue minister last week after facing charges of conflict of interest in a controversial land deal in Pune involving his family members.
The ATS, which is in the final stages of its probe in the phone calls case, is likely to submit a status report to the state home department shortly.
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“On Thursday, the ATS received CDRs of four months during which, the ethical hacker alleged, Khadse received calls from Dawood’s landline number. However, analysis of the records doesn’t show any calls were made or received during this period,” a senior official from home department told The Indian Express. “The CDR has given a direction to the probe but the agency is yet to question the hacker. Once that is done, a status report will be submitted,” added the official. The agency had summoned Bhangale last week but he failed to turn up.
The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police had given a clean chit to Khadse within hours of ethical hacker Manish Bhangale making the allegations against him. Subsequently, Bhangale claimed that the period between which the calls were received was not September 2015 to April 2016, but January to April 2015. The probe was then handed over to the ATS.
“Initially, Bhangale claimed that the calls were made between September 2015 and April 2016. The CDR of this period was easily procured and studied. The allegations were found to be untrue,” another official from the home department said.
He said the process to source the CDR got lengthy after Bhangale changed his statement. Sources said the service provider routs call records beyond the last 12 months to its ‘main dump’, and it takes time to extract them. “After the probe was handed over to ATS, the company was asked to submit the CDR for the new period Bhangale cited. By Thursday, the agency received the records.”