CPI(M) leader seeks policy details from Union Telecom Minister A.Raja

Rajya Sabha MP and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has written to Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja, seeking details of policy regarding the preservation and maintenance of call records by private and public sector telecom companies, particularly when calls are made during mass violence and riots.

Asking that whether there was any policy for automatic preservation of call records when mass violence takes place and First Information Reports registered, Ms. Karat said: “The matter gains relevance because of the various court cases going on about the massacre of innocent people during the violence in Gujarat in 2002. I have been given to understand that some telecom corporations have maintained that the records of calls for that period have been destroyed.”

Ms. Karat pointed out that “the fact is that quite shortly after the violence (in Gujarat), an enquiry commission under Justice Nanavati was ordered. In such a situation the telephone records of top functionaries in the State are crucial for the investigation. Further, survivor victims or families of those killed have filed cases, some of which are pending before the Supreme Court.”

“In these cases, as for example in the murder case of former Member of Parliament, Ahsan Jafri his call records are extremely important pieces of evidence. Eyewitnesses have stated on oath before the court that Mr. Jafri, desperate for help called up important political functionaries, who instead of helping him abused him before he was brutally butchered,” she said in her letter.

Policy framework

Stating that the policy framework of the Ministry in this connection was very important, Ms. Karat has sought information regarding regulations and procedures relating to the preservation of documents and records in such cases.

“Have any guidelines been issued to telecom companies whether private or public sector and if they violate guidelines is any action taken? Has any inquiry been ordered into the disappearance of records of the said time?” Ms. Karat sought to know.

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