Can Call Details Of Police Officers Be Furnished To The Accused? Kerala High Court Refers Question For The Consideration Of Division Bench

first_imgNews UpdatesCan Call Details Of Police Officers Be Furnished To The Accused? Kerala High Court Refers Question For The Consideration Of Division Bench LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK6 March 2021 1:39 AMShare This – xOn Monday, the Kerala High Court was faced with a rather interesting request by a person accused in a drug haul; he sought the call records of certain persons including investigating officers between a certain time window on a particular date. Finding an element of public interest in the question, a Single Bench of Justice B Sudeendhra Kumar opined that an authoritative pronouncement…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOn Monday, the Kerala High Court was faced with a rather interesting request by a person accused in a drug haul; he sought the call records of certain persons including investigating officers between a certain time window on a particular date. Finding an element of public interest in the question, a Single Bench of Justice B Sudeendhra Kumar opined that an authoritative pronouncement was necessary as to whether such a request could be entertained. The Court observed, Considering the seriousness of the question involved in this case, I am of the view that an authoritative pronouncement by a Division Bench is necessary in this case. The applicant had beseeched the Court to issue directions to the Nodal Officers concerned to furnish the call details of certain persons, among whom were certain excise officers who investigated narcotics offences in the state. In his application, he prayed that the name of the subscriber, call details and the tower location of the mobile phone numbers of certain persons be produced. Pertinently, his earlier application to in this respect had been dismissed by a subordinate court. The State vehemently opposed the request, placing on record its objection to a request for these details. It was contended that Investigating Agencies relied on secret information from the public and rival groups to detect offences and that allowing the accused this information would be a risk to the lives of informants. The Court’s reference order records these submissions as stating, The call details of the Investigating Officer would include the number from which the secret information was received by the Investigating Officer. There may be rival fractions of drug dealers and mafias. If they get the particulars of the informant, it would endanger the life of that person. Several incidents of such type are there and most of the cases are not reported, if the informant who met with the dire consequences, is a member of a gang engaged in illegal activities of narcotic drugs. Agreeing that furnishing call details on such terms would be detrimental to public interest, Justice Kumar observed that the question raised it was serious. This was especially so considering that the public would be deterred from divulging secret information about the offences, the Court mused. The Court noted that there were only two pronouncements relating to call details. The first such order was a directive from 2017 wherein the High Court directed to keep in safe custody the call details, tower locations and other details of certain mobile numbers for a certain period. The other was an Order from February 2019, where a Singe Bench of the High Court directed the service providers concerned to preserve the tower locations and call details in respect of some of the Police Officers. Stating that no other decision has been brought to the notice of this Court in this regard by the Bar, the Court said, “I am of the view that the question as to whether the call details, pertaining to the mobile phones of the Police Officers, can be directed to be given to persons accused of having committed serious offences like NDPS cases involving commercial quantity of narcotic drug, is a question involving public interest” The Court therefore, directed the Registry to place its reference order along with the case file before the Chief Justice for a decision on whether the matter merited the consideration of a higher benchClick Hear To Download/Read OrderNext Storylast_img read more