A Delhi court on Wednesday issued notice to Delhi Police seeking its response by Thursday on a bail plea of a policeman arrested along with three others for allegedly illegally retrieving call details of BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
Constable Arvind Dabas moved his bail plea before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Amit Bansal who also extended the judicial custody of all the four accused till March 20 after the Special Cell of Delhi Police said their probe into the case was on.
“All the accused persons are remanded in judicial custody till March 20,” the CMM said and extended the judicial custody of constable Dabas and three private detectives — Anurag, who is alleged to be the main conspirator, Neeraj and Nitish.
During the hearing, advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, appearing for Dabas, moved the bail application saying that the offences under which his client has been booked are bailable.
He also raised the issue of court’s jurisdiction to adjudicate the case, saying CMM Vidya Prakash had earlier declined to hear the bail plea on the issue and that the same “controversy” is still not sorted out.
“On the basis of the FIR, bailable offence is there in it. No notice should be given (to police). Dabas is in judicial custody since February 20. Today again, there is controversy that whether this man (Dabas) will be sent to judicial custody. Issue of jurisdiction is also there,” Mr. Khan said.
On this, the judge asked the investigating officer (IO) as to how he had produced the accused persons before him. The IO said he had enquired from CMM Prakash about it on Wednesday and he was asked by the court at Tis Hazari to take the accused before the CMM at Patiala house Courts complex.
The jurisdictional issue had cropped up as the Delhi High Court has divided Delhi into 11 Metropolitan zones from March 1 this year and each zone will have a separate CMM.
Earlier, the city was divided into nine revenue districts and there was only one CMM who was dealing with the cases of Special Cell.
Mr. Khan pressed the court for hearing arguments on the bail plea today itself but it decided to issue a notice to the police for their response and listed the arguments on the application for Thursday.
On being asked by the judge to explain the brief facts of the case, the IO said it relates to the alleged attempt by the accused to get the call details records of Mr. Jaitley.
He, however, refused to divulge entire facts of the case in open courtroom saying scribes were also present there.
The IO said Mr. Dabas was the first to be arrested in the case and their probe has revealed that Mr. Anurag was the main conspirator and others had joined the conspiracy.
The counsel for Mr. Dabas, however, told the court that offences as mentioned in the FIR are not clearly made out against the accused. He also cited the provisions of the Information Technology Act to buttress his arguments.
He said that it was a question of national security and the agency should explain as to “under what circumstances, I (Dabas) had used the e-mail id (of a ACP) or I hacked it.”
He also said that contents of the FIR were not to be disclosed but “each and every details of the investigation has gone to the media".
The court, after hearing arguments, told the lawyer that it would hear detailed arguments on the bail plea on Thursday.
In his bail plea, Mr. Dabas has alleged he has been implicated in the case by the Special Cell due to “personal animosities” and he has become a “victim of the system”.
“The applicant/accused has neither cheated nor dishonestly induced any person to deliver any property/valuable security. As these are the basic ingredients of section 420 of IPC the provision, i.e., ‘Inducement’ and ‘Delivery of property/valuable security’ is completely absent, the question of framing under this provision does not arise,” it said.
“The nature and character of the evidence is very weak, by all means the material on record, at this stage, appraise bleakest possibility of convicting the applicant/accused,” it said.
Mr. Dabas was the first person to be arrested on February 14 in connection with the case. Besides him, Anurag, Neeraj and and Nitish are also under arrest.
All the accused have been booked for criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and section 66 IT Act for hacking the computer system.