Mumbai News: HC Asks DCP To Provide CDR, WhatsApp Chats Of Accused' Mobile Phone Over Allegations Of Police Misconduct

Mumbai News: HC Asks DCP To Provide CDR, WhatsApp Chats Of Accused' Mobile Phone Over Allegations Of Police Misconduct

The bench raised doubt over the police serving Section 41A notice and remarked there were serious allegations against the police.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 07:59 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Observing that prima facie police have not complied with the provisions of law and that there is substance in the allegations against them, the Bombay High Court has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, to procure the Call Detail Records (CDR) and WhatsApp messages/calls from the mobile phone of an accused in a cheating case who alleged that the investigating officer demanded bribe from his family using his phone.

High Court Grants Interim Bail To The Accused

The high court granted interim bail for six months to Ahmedabad-based businessman Bhairaram Saraswat noting that there are serious allegations against police officers which need to be investigated.

“Prima facie, it appears that the police have not complied with the provisions of law and as such there is substance in the allegations made by the petitioner in the aforesaid petition. Custodial torture is also alleged. The allegations, as against the police officers, are serious and the same need to be responded to by them,” a bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha Deshpande said on April 5. 

Allegations Made By Accused Of Police's Misconduct

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Saraswat challenging his arrest by the Mumbai police alleging that the police had not served Section 41A notice of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The provision mandates serving a notice before arresting an accused in offences punishable with less than seven years of imprisonment. The plea contended that Saraswat was not named in the FIR registered on March 11. 

His advocate Mudit Jain argued that, on March 19, Saraswat was picked up by 2-3 persons, who later identified themselves as plainclothes police officers, from his shop in Ahmedabad. They brought him to Mumbai without obtaining a transit remand. Also, they did not have any identification. 

Jain claimed that Section 41A notice was subsequently prepared and his signature/ thumb impression was forcibly taken on it. He relied on CCTV footage of the shop to show that Section 41A notice was not served as the police officers were not carrying any papers with them when they picked up the petitioner. He was neither provided with the arrest memo nor given the grounds of his arrest. Also, his family members were not informed about his arrest. 

Evidence Of Police Misconduct Brought Up In High Court Proceedings

The police allegedly used Saraswat’s mobile phone for almost 10 days and spoke to his father and brother demanding money, Jain submitted. He relied on the screenshots of the calls received and audio recordings of the conversation between the police officer and Saraswat’s father and others. Jain submitted that the IO demanded money to settle the matter.

Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegavkar, however, submitted that Section 41A notice was served on Saraswat on March 19, 2024, on the day when the police went to Ahmedabad.

The bench, however, raised doubt over the police serving Section 41A notice and remarked there were serious allegations against the police.

The HC directed Saraswat’s release on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs25,000 and kept the matter for hearing on May 2. 

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