Call data records (CDRs) produced before the special MCOCA court hearing the July 11,2006 Mumbai train bombings case have indicated that phones belonging to three men accused of planting bombs on Virar-bound trains at Churchgate were actually nowhere near the station on that day.
The CDRs were produced before the court on Thursday. Defence lawyers said Friday that the examination of an officer from Bharti Airtel had backed the statements of the three men,Ehtesham Siddhiqui,Faizal Sheikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid,all of whom have denied planting the bombs.
Defence counsel Khan Abdul Wahab said the CDRs showed that on 7/11,all calls from the phone of Siddhiqui who was allegedly the Mumbai secretary of SIMI were routed through the tower in Mira Road.
The phone belonging to Sheikh,who the ATS said was the Mumbai chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba,was near Lucky restaurant in Bandra (West) at the time of the blast,Wahab said.
And the attendance register of Khans office shows he was at his workplace in Kandivali from morning until 6 pm,something the CDRs of his phone too indicate,Wahab said.
Sources in the prosecution said that the evidence from the CDRs would not have a bearing on the case. On the contrary,some revelations in the records have strengthened their case,they said,but declined to explain.
The prosecution has said that accused did not use their mobile phones during the alleged operation. They have vaguely said that the phones were left with their family or friends and had been switched off. But the question over who was using these phones has been left blank, Wahab said.
He added that the CDRs showed that in the four months preceding the blasts,no calls were made from Shivaji Nagar in Govandi,where,according to the prosecution,the bombs were built on July 8,9 and 10,2006.
CDRs of six of the numbers used by the total 13 accused were with Bharti Airtel. One CDR,produced by the nodal officer for Loop Mobile,was incomplete,and those produced by Vodafone were found to be corrupt,Wahab said. CDRs from Tata Docomo had not arrived yet,and the nodal officer for MTNL had told the court that the CDRs older than a year could not be produced,Wahab said.
The defence was allowed to examine the nodal officers of cellphone companies only after they petitioned Bombay High Court. The accused had moved the HC in September against an MCOCA court order rejecting their plea for the CDRs that the prosecution had relied upon.