A day after Maharashtra ATS filed an affidavit that it destroyed call data records (CDRs) in the 7/11 blasts case as the CDRs were not relevant or useful,it told Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday only copies of the records were destroyed and originals were still available with cell phone service providers.
Deflating defence claims,Advocate General D J Khambata said,The original record was and is available with telecom companies.
He said the companies never gave original records.
It is most unfair. It has been made to look as if police officers have destroyed original evidence. This is nothing but a red herring, Khambata said.
Thirteen alleged SIMI members facing trial for the blasts had moved HC in September challenging a special MCOCA court order rejecting a plea to examine three police officers and produce the CDRs.
After the prosecution and defence concluded arguments on Tuesday,Justice A M Thipsay called for the case dairy from the MCOCA court conducting the 7/11 trial and reserved verdict.
Khambata said soft copies of the CDRs made available to ATS by the service providers were like xerox copies of a document. What is so important about these xerox copies when originals are staring them (accused) in the face? They must first attempt to get the primary evidence, he said.
Khambata said the prosecution had no objection if the defence wanted summons to be issued to nodal officers of the cellphone companies.
Defence lawyer Yug Chaudhry said the affidavit filed by police inspector Sunil Wadke,attached to the technical unit cell (TUC) of ATS between 2004 and 2008,was stingy on facts.
He said there was a strong and well-founded suspicion that if the CDRs were destroyed,they were destroyed after the appeal (in HC in September) was filed.
Chaudhry said the affidavit was silent on the dates on which the CDRs were sought from the cell phone service providers and provided,the order to delete them and the actual deletion. Could it be that DCP ordered destruction and it is not recorded in the case dairy? he said.
They have not even provided the phone numbers for which the CDRs were obtained, he added.
Chaudhry further said in the chargesheet,ATS had stated that two of the seven explosions that occurred on July 11,2006,were not detected. He said ATS had shown accused wanted and absconding. Can records be destroyed before the trial is over,appeals are over and arrests made?
Justice Thipsay said all these questions would have to be considered by the court.