Monday 2 October 2023

Whether the court can rely on call details of mobile used in crime if prosecution fails to prove connection between owner of that Sim and custody of accused of that SIM?

  As regards the call data and the ransom calls, we may note that Santosh Jadhav, Assistant Nodal Officer, Reliance Communication, was examined as PW-17 and spoke of the call data of mobile number 8305620342 from which the ransom calls were made. According to him, the SIM card with the said mobile number was given to one Bhuraji, son of Deepu, whose address was House No. 433, Sanjay Gandhi Ward, Tehsil Jabalpur. He produced Bhuraji's 'Customer Application Form' along with his attached Election ID card. These documents were marked as Ex. D6. The call data of 28.03.2013 showed that this SIM card was used on the mobile handset with IMEI No. 358327028551270. He marked in evidence Ex. P35 in that regard. Therefore, the mobile number from which ransom calls were made was in the name of one Bhuraji, s/o. Deepu, and his address was available. However, the police did not even attempt to contact Bhuraji or examine him to find out how and why his SIM card was used for making the ransom calls. Even more startling is the fact that, though PW-17 placed on record actual proof of the allotment of this mobile number to Bhuraji (Ex. D6), no such steps were taken by the police to establish the link between Om Prakash Yadav and mobile number 9993135127, which was attributed to him. PW-15 baldly stated that the said mobile number was allotted to Om Prakash Yadav but did not mark in evidence any document in proof thereof. Surprisingly, he had stated in his deposition that he had brought the certified copy of the application form and the ID used when this SIM card was allotted to the subscriber, Om Prakash Yadav, but the same were not marked. In effect, no palpable connection is established between the said mobile number and Om Prakash Yadav. In the absence of such a tangible link, the call data report (Ex. P31) and the contents thereof are practically useless in establishing the prosecution's case that the ransom calls were made from Om Prakash Yadav's mobile phone handset by inserting Bhuraji's SIM card, with mobile number 8305620342, therein.


Criminal Appeal Nos. 793-794 of 2022 and 795 of 2022

Decided On: 21.09.2023

 Rajesh and Ors. Vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

B.R. Gavai, J.B. Pardiwala and P.V. Sanjay Kumar, JJ.

Author: P.V. Sanjay Kumar, J.

Citation: : MANU/SC/1040/2023.

Read full Judgment here: Click here.

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