The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) probing the 2006 suburban train blasts told the Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday it no longer had call data records (CDRs) of the accused. The 7/11 blasts had killed 188 and injured 823.
The Indian Express reported on Tuesday that the ATS had told the special MCOCA court that the call records of the 13 accused in the case had been destroyed.
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 told the court today.
He said the data analysis cell (DAC) of ATS had procured CDRs of the accused. But the records were later deleted.
The 13 alleged SIMI members facing trial for the 7/11 blasts had moved HC in September challenging the MCOCA special courts 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 that the 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 the prosecution did not tell the trial court that the CDRs had been destroyed. They said they would not produce what they are not relying on, he said.
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 retrieve older ones in about three-four 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.