HC grants bail to accused in drugs case, directs retrieval of 3-yr-old call data recordsPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 17-01-2021 13:52 IST | Created: 17-01-2021 13:52 IST
The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a man who was arrested in 2017 on alleged recovery of contraband drugs from him, while directing mobile service providers to retrieve over three-year-old call data records and locations of mobile numbers.
After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said he was of the view that something was fishy about the chain of events and the man has been falsely implicated.
“In view of afore-noted facts and circumstances, I find that there is something fishy about the whole chain of events and the petitioner has been falsely implicated in the present case. However, without commenting on the merits of the case, I am of the view that the petitioner deserves bail,” the judge said.
Seeking bail for accused Pradeep Gupta, his counsel submitted that the accused was picked up on October 11, 2017 from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh by a police party and has been falsely implicated by showing alleged recovery on the next day at Delhi.
Advocate Sunil Dalal, representing Gupta, contended that the accused had submitted two phone numbers of the police party, which had arrested him to show his presence at Aligarh with the police party a day before arrest in Delhi and the trial court had in September 2018 directed for preservation of call detail records (CDR) of the numbers.
However, the order of the trial court was not communicated to the service providers in order to conceal the factum of arrest of the accused on a day prior to lodging of FIR, the counsel said.
The CDRs of a particular mobile number are available with the mobile operators only for a year and after that it can be preserved only under the directions of the court, Dalal submitted.
The trial court had directed the nodal officers of Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, Jio and MTNL to preserve the CDRs and mobile phone location and other details of the mobile numbers from October 10 to October 15, 2017.
The counsel for Vodafone submitted that the company had not received any communication about the trial court’s September 2018 order and therefore, the CDR/ mobile phone location and other details of the mobile numbers, are not available, as they are preserved only for one year.
He said if the high court directs, an effort can be made to retrieve the details but it is a time-taking process as it has to be done manually.
The high court noted that the two mobile numbers, whose CDRs and location was to be preserved, were deactivated in March 2019.
“It seems that these mobile numbers were deactivated because the trial court had directed the mobile phone service providers to preserve the CDR, location and other details qua these mobile numbers,” the high court said.
Till the record is placed before the trial court by Vodafone Idea Ltd, the lower court is directed not to examine any witness related to the details of these mobile phones, however, it shall continue to record evidence of other witnesses, the high court said.
While granting bail to the accused on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the like amount, the high court directed him not to directly or indirectly influence any witness or tamper with the evidence.
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