Were accused in touch with cops? HC wants CDRs

The Bombay High Court Thursday asked the police to provide details of call data records (CDRs) that reportedly reveal that there were conversations between senior police officers and two accused — builder Suresh Bijlani and architect Anurag Garg — in the murder case of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Lohariya.

A division bench of Justices P V Hardas and S S Jadhav was hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar who sought that the case be handed over to CBI, claiming that the local police was not conducting the inquiry in a free and fair manner.

The petitioner alleged that there was evidence with the investigating authorities to show that the Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner and a senior police inspector were in touch with the duo on the day of Lohariya's murder, February 16, and the following day on February 17. Despite this, he alleged, no notices were issued by the police against the duo.

Tirodkar said the police were in possession of the CDRs, following which the court asked the state government's lawyer Aruna Pai to confirm this. The government pleader replied in the affirmative. She also said the statements of senior police officers were yet to be recorded. Pai added that police were taking steps to declare absconding accused Garg a proclaimed offender.

Tirodkar claimed that no such information about Garg was put up on the website of the Mumbai Police. He also alleged that Bijlani and Garg were spotted by Lohariya's son at the police station when he had gone to lodge a complaint. He said the police refused to name the duo in the FIR.

Asking the state to the produce the CDR on January 10, the court also told the state government to submit the details about the steps taken to trace the absconding accused.

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