Alarmed by the directive of a single judge of the Kerala High Court to seize the telephonic conversation records, including the voice records of Salim Raj, suspended gunman of the Chief Minister, the State government swiftly moved an appeal and obtained a stay order against the single judge’s directive from a Division Bench. The single judge had on Monday directed the State Police Chief to take steps to seize the telephonic records, including voice records, and other persons allegedly involved in two land deal cases.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique on Wednesday passed the stay order when the appeal filed by the State government, the Revenue Secretary, Director-General of Police and Director, Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau, came up for hearing.

Though a government pleader appeared in the case when it came up before the single judge, Advocate-General K.P. Dandapani represented the government before the Division Bench.

The Advocate-General submitted that the petition seeking a CBI probe in the alleged manipulation of records in a land deal was not maintainable at this stage. It had been a 62-year-old civil dispute. The dispute regarding the land at Kadakampally village was a matter among several private persons. The government had been roped in the case unnecessarily, he contended. According to the appeal, the petition was a politically motivated one. The only intention of the petitioner was to obtain certain other information regarding the telephonic details of Salim Raj. Issuing an interim order, the Bench said that passing an interim order, without having any material before the court, including the name of the telephone companies, and without making the companies parties in the petitioner, could not be justified.

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