Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that the original Call Detail Records (CDRs) pertaining to the 13 alleged SIMI activists facing trial in 2006 suburban train blasts case are still available with the mobile service providers.
"ATS had destroyed only copies of the CDRs. A wrong impression has been created that ATS has deleted the original CDRs. What has been deleted are merely copies. The originals should be still with the service providers," Advocate General
Darius Khambata told Justice A M Thipsay who was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by few of the accused in the case.
The petitioners sought direction to a special MCOCA court conducting trial against them to recall certain witnesses including the investigating officers for cross-examination on availability of CDRs.
ATS had on earlier hearings told the court that while it procured CDRs of the accused during investigation the data were destroyed as the investigating officer found them irrelevant to the probe.
Khambata further said that the accused can summon nodal officers of the service providers as defence witnesses.
Advocate Yug Chaudhary, appearing for the accused, however, argued that the nodal officers had earlier submitted reports to the trial court stating that the CDRs were not available. "We will now have to summon the IT officials of the companies to see if there is any way to retrieve them," he said.
Justice Thipsay then questioned as to whether investigating agencies can destroy documents procured during probe against the accused. To this, Khambata said there is no law which says the investigating officer has to keep all the documents. "If the officer feels a particular document is not relevant to his case he may dispose it," he said.
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 charge-sheet filed against them.
The July 11, 2006, train blasts had killed 188 people and injured 823 others. The court has reserved its order in the matter.