7/11: MCOCA court told to examine IT experts for obtaining CDRs
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday directed a special MCOCA court conducting trial in the 7/11 serial train blasts, to examine nodal officers and IT experts of mobile service providers to ascertain if it is possible to retrieve Call Data Records (CDRs) of some of the accused in the case.
Justice A M Thipsay passed this direction while hearing a petition filed by some of the 13 accused, alleged to be SIMI activists, seeking production of CDRs by the state Anti Terrorism Squad which had been used by the agency to secure their remand.
ATS had earlier told the high court that it had only procured copies of the CDRs from the mobile service providers and had destroyed them as it was not being included as evidence in the chargesheet.
The accused argued that the CDRs proved their innocence in the case and sought for examination of the nodal officers and IT experts from the mobile service companies.
Accepting their argument, Justice Thipsay today directed the trial court to examine the nodal officers and IT team as court witnesses and find out if it was possible to retrieve the CDRs. The trial court shall also examine an independent expert from the field of information technology.
The trial court shall also examine two investigating officers of ATS. After examination of all these witnesses, if the trial court opines that the CDRs can be retrieved then it can issue appropriate search warrants, Justice Thipsay directed.
The High Court had earlier questioned as to whether investigating agencies can destroy documents procured during probe against the accused. To this, advocate general Darius Khambata had said there is no law which says the investigating officer has to keep all the documents.
According to the accused, the ATS had earlier in 2006 while seeking their remands relied on these CDRs recovered from their mobile phones before their arrest but had not produced them in the chargesheet filed against them.