CBI moves Supreme Court seeking phone records in Saradha chit fund scam
In an application filed before the top court, the agency said Vodafone and Bharti Airtel had shared CDRs for the years 2012 and 2013 with the West Bengal police when the latter was investigating the Saradha chit fund scam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has moved the Supreme Court with a plea to direct two telecom companies to share call detail records (CDRs) of Saradha Group directors Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee.
In an application filed before the top court, the agency said Vodafone and Bharti Airtel had shared CDRs for the years 2012 and 2013 with the West Bengal police when the latter was investigating the Saradha chit fund scam. However, the CDRs handed over to the central agency seem to be of a limited period, it said.
The CBI took over the investigations in the Saradha and other chit fund scams pursuant to the top court’s 2015 order.
The West Bengal police then handed it over the evidence they had collected while probing the case. In its status report submitted to the SC in a sealed cover, the CBI has purportedly accused former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar of tampering with the evidence.
In its fresh application, the CBI said it had requested Vodafone Mobile Services Limited and Bharti Airtel Limited on July 12, 2018 to provide information “pertaining to the period for which the CDRs were requested by the West Bengal police and the period for which the CDRs were actually supplied” to the police.
However, “till date, despite the repeated requests of the applicant and despite the specific direction of the Government of India, the service providers have not shared the information as sought for”, the CBI told the court and requested it to direct them to share the details.
The agency said that it had sent many reminders to the service providers, but their replies were “surprisingly and strangely evasive and fail to disclose the relevant information” it had sought.
An Airtel spokesperson said, “We can confirm that we have provided the information that the concerned authorities/investigating agencies had requested, and will continue to assist them. As a responsible corporate, we have always been and shall remain compliant with the laws of the land.”
Reacting to the CBI application in the top court, Vodafone said, “We at all times extend full support and comply with the regulatory framework regarding subscriber data disclosure.”