The home ministry has decided to tighten the process for policemen to obtain telephone call data records (CDRs), a rule that could help prevent instances of junior policemen from illegally getting call records but not protect against misuse by senior police officers, as recently alleged in Gujarat.
Policemen will soon have to report details of phone call data records obtained by them to track criminals to the government on a monthly basis.
Cops in Delhi had abused the lenient system of requisitioning phone records of BJP’s leader Arun Jaitley, triggering the proposed norms.
But there is no solution in sight for alleged misuse of senior police officers in Gujarat using the call records to track a young girl in 2009 at the instance of the state home minister Amit Shah.
The only precaution in such instances is that a record should be kept – by way of a software - for all cases of phone companies providing call data records which can be examined at a later stage in case of such allegations.
Government sources said the home ministry was in the process of issuing guidelines that requires a Superintendent of Police-rank officer – and not a nodal officer of the district – to requisition the CDR.
Also, district and special teams will have to keep a log of all CDRs they seek and submit a monthly report to the district magistrate and the chief secretary.
The new guidelines are an improvement over the existing system but a milder version of the rules being considered in the home ministry earlier.
Sources suggested the proposed rules – which required the home secretary’s approval for every requisition of CDRs. Police officers had complained that the government’s approval would make the process too cumbersome, especially since a large number of phone records were often analysed in investigation of heinous crimes.