Mere Movement Of SIM Doesn’t Prove Movement Of Accused Along With It: Punjab & Haryana HC [Read Order]
In a setback to investigating agencies, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that mere movement of SIM card would not be sufficient to prove the movement of the person allegedly using the SIM card.
A bench comprising Justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Kuldip Singh asserted, “To repeat, the prosecution cannot claim that by movement of SIM cards from one place to another, that it has also proved the movement of the persons allegedly using the SIM cards in respect of which call details have been produced on record nor that a particular person was moving.
The prosecution wants this Court to draw inference that if the call details shows the movement of SIM cards from one place to another, necessarily, the accused persons must be held to have moved along with SIM cards. We find that the submission is fallacious and misconceived.”
The court was hearing appeals challenging a judgment passed in March, 2012 by the Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, who convicted four people under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent), 365 (abduction) and 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days) of the Indian Penal Code.
The case involved the murder of one Harpreet Kaur, the daughter of one of the convicts, by administering her drugs that were intended to lead to the termination of her pregnancy.
The prosecution had sought to zero-in on the whereabouts of the convicts to establish the existence of a conspiracy by relying on call details from March 18, 2000, the date when Harpreet was abducted from the house in Chandigarh, till the termination of pregnancy on March 19, 2000, and again around her death on April 20, 2000.
The court, however, opined that the reliance placed on the call details and the records is of no use or assistance to the prosecution because of three reasons. Firstly, it pointed out that the investigating officer did not seize any of the mobile phones or the SIM cards in respect of which the evidence of call details has been relied upon. There was no explanation as to why that was not done, it asserted.
Secondly, it noted that the prosecution did not prove that the mobile phones allegedly used by the accused were registered in their name, owned by them or were physically in their possession.
“Not a single witness by the prosecution was examined nor any evidence has been brought on record that anybody saw mobile phones having SIM cards of the numbers allegedly used by the accused persons,” it further explained.
The court then allowed the appeals and acquitted the accused, ruling, “The upshot of the entire above discussion is that the prosecution miserably failed to prove its case against all the accused persons. The judgment impugned is illegal and must be set aside which we do.”
Image from here
Read the Order Here