Canít seek money for CDRs: Defence

Defence lawyers opposed Thursday an application by mobile service providers demanding Rs 34 lakh to provide call data records (CDRs) of 13 accused of the 7/11 suburban train blasts of 2006. They invoked a Bombay High Court (HC) order seeking the information free of cost.

In a 46-page draft submitted to the court, the lawyers challenged the application by Vodafone, Loop, Airtel and Tata Indicom for a direction to the accused to pay Rs 34 lakh.

The companies moved an application Wednesday claiming the process involving identification of old tapes, extraction and retrieval of data could take three months.

"The data has not been demanded for personal consumption but for a judicial process. We only want the accused to get a fair trial," said defence lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan.

HC had directed the state to access the data and make it part of evidence.

The defence lawyers said accused Kamal Ansari obtained similar information from Airtel for Rs 20 soon after the trial began in 2007.

"The companies cannot quote such a high price for information essential for the case. Even HC has ruled in our favour and has asked us to examine details," said Khan.

The 13 accused had sought production of CDRs before MCOCA court. They said CDRs were not annexed to the chargesheet by Maharashtra ATS. While the trial court rejected their application in December last year, HC directed it to examine whether CDRs could be recovered. If the trial court feels ATS may be in possession of CDRs, "it may consider the prayer of the appellants to issue a warrant of search for, seize and produce relevant documents afresh".

On July 11, 2006, 188 people were killed and 817 injured when seven bombs kept in first-class coaches of suburban trains exploded.

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