Material not cited in chargesheet destroyed after a year
The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) probing the 2006 suburban train blasts told Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday it no longer had call data records (CDRs) of accused. The 7/11 blasts had killed 188 and injured 823.
ATS said material not cited in chargesheet was destroyed after a year. It (CDRs) was there,that much is clear. If the material is not relied on (by the prosecution) in the chargesheet,after a year or so it is destroyed. Today,we dont have it. Thats the reality, Advocate General D J Khambata said.
He said the data analysis cell (DAC) of ATS had procured CDRs of the accused. But the records were later deleted.
Thirteen alleged SIMI members facing trial for the 7/11 blasts had moved HC in September challenging an MCOCA special court order refusing to allow examination of three DCPs who allegedly recorded statements of three Indian Mujahideen members and production of CDRs the ATS was using against them. IM had claimed responsibility for all blasts in the country after 2005.
Defence lawyer Yug Chaudhary argued ATS had made tall claims about the accused having links with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). If the CDRs had evidence showing links with LeT,would they (ATS) destroy them? he said.
Chaudhary said before the trial court,the prosecution did not say the CDRs had been destroyed. They said they would not produce what they are not relying on.
Justice A M Thipsay observed: Nobody can dispute the relevance of this (CDRs). There is logical relevance.
Chaudhary said a nodal officer from Bihar submitted in the trial court that they preserved CDRs for a year but could retrive older ones in about 3-4 months.
Khambata said he had no objection to the defence examining five nodal officers. He said police inspector Wadke attached to DAC was ready to file an affidavit.
Asking the state government to file the affidavit,HC adjourned the case till October 22.