HC upholds order asking police officials to produce their call details in drugs case

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has upheld an order directing the police officials to produce call detail records and location of all the members of a raiding team, including the investigating officer, of the relevant time period in a contraband drugs case.

The high court, however, modified the trial court's order which had also sought for call detail records and location via mobile towers of the secret informer.

“The details of the call records of the secret informer also cannot be revealed as such an order is likely to jeopardise the life of the secret informer. The order to provide for the call detail records of the secret informer cannot sustain,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The high court was hearing a plea by the State (Delhi Police) challenging a trial court's December 2017 order by which the investigating officer (IO) of the criminal case was directed to procure the call detail records (CDR) and location via mobile towers of all members of the raiding team and also of the secret informer and himself.

The IO was also directed to procure the mobile phone of the accused from the 'malkhana'.

The criminal case pertained to recovery of a huge quantity of ganja from the accused, represented through advocate Sumer Sethi.

Challenging the trial court's order, prosecutor Kusum Bhalla, representing the State, contended that the trial court has failed to appreciate that the order amounted to interference in the investigation process and the accused does not have any right to have the information about how the investigation is progressing as he is not entitled to CDR.

The prosecutor submitted that the documents sought to be produced are not a part of the charge sheet and details of the personal information of the IO of the case would amount to the intrusion on his privacy and there would be information of other cases as well in the mobile.

The high court, however, said that it can call for the CDRs of the IO and the trial court's order calling for the CDRs of the IO and the raiding team and the direction to produce mobile phone of the accused from malkhana therefore does not require interference.

“The accused is entitled only to the call details of the IO and the raiding team only for the purpose of this case and the order has to be restricted to the call details of the IO for the present case only,” it made clear.

The high court said a perusal of the trial court records showed that a charge sheet has been filed and four prosecution witnesses have already been examined and at this stage, directing the State to produce the call records of the IO and other members of the raiding team pertaining to the case will not cause any prejudice to the investigation. PTI SKV RKS RKS