IPS officer not guilty of misplacing CDs of Naroda case, SIT says
Ahemdabad: The special investigation team (SIT) on Monday submitted before the court trying the Naroda Gam riot case that CD of call records of some state functionaries during the 2002 Gujarat riots was misplaced but it did not amount to any offence by IPS officer Rahul Sharma.
"SIT is of the view that compact disk provided by mobile service providers is lost/ misplaced but the same does not amount to an offence under IPC section 201 (destruction of evidence) by Sharma," an affidavit filed by investigating officer Himanshu Shukla said.
Shukla, Superitendent of Police with Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), filed the affidavit before the judge P B Desai.
"Data contained in the CD is of the same integrity as one supplied by the mobile service providers....during the course of investigation or trial of this case, no evidence has come on record from any of the witnesses to show that the call records produced before the court were tampered with," it says.
"No mens rea (criminal intent) can be attributed to him for the loss of the original CD. No evidence has been adduced...to attribute any act of ommission or commission on the part of Sharma relating to destruction of CD provided by the mobile service providers," it says.
The trial court had on June 2 directed Shukla to give details of the CD after 65 of the accused persons filed an application seeking to prosecute Sharma for misplacing the original CD.
The call records can reveal movements of the person at the particular time. The application alleged that Sharma misplaced the original CD and submitted a duplicate one before the riot probe commission headed by Justice G T Nanavati.
Sharma, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state control-room in 2002, had assisted police for a brief period in the investigation of riots and had made a CD of call data records of some important officers and leaders.
The case before the court relates to killing of 11 persons from the minority community by a mob on February 28, 2002, during the post-Godhra riots.
The accused include former minister Maya Kodnani and VHP leader Jaydip Patel.